Wednesday, January 11, 2012

No more chemo

No more chemo.
January 11, 2012

What was supposed to be a 6 month chemo regimen only turned out to be 12 weeks. The chemotherapy wasn't as effective against the cancer as they had hoped and It turns out that each round was becoming more and more difficult for Terence so in all honesty, he (and I) were relieved. 

We try not to think about what this really means but simply rejoice in the fact that he has some relief. He woke up today (after yesterdays infusion and having the urinary catheter removed) feeling like he has a new lease on life (amazing what an infusion can do!).

Prayer to break the chain of cancer
 Sunday's collective prayer and reading the bible helped get Terence through a really tough week; and we believe it will continue to propel him forward changing cancer's course in his body.

What next? Scans were moved up to the 17th, oncology review (and discussion of the next course of treatment) on the 18th and PICC line dressing changes and flushing on the 19th.  It doesn't look like they are taking out the PICC line, so  another chemo cocktail may be in his future. Not soon, we hope.
Terence's main oncology nurse said she was going to be proactive and begin to prepare all the insurance paper work for Zytiga (the newly FDA drug approved for POST chemo). It's a very expensive (5K a month) so she wants to get a head start on finding ways to get it in our hands in the least expensive manner.

Zytiga was recently approved by the FDA this yearI remember when Terence was newly diagnosed it was still in trial and our doctor said "hang on, there will be new drugs out there that will be ready for you when you need it"There are so many advances being made, that if you can literally can wait 6-12 moths, something new comes out. Unfortunately sometimes that is still not quick enough. Within the last 8 weeks, we have lost 3 friends to prostate cancer. So we understand now what Dr. M meant when he said "Hang on".  He literally means, hang on, because there are advances being made, just hang on!!!!  When dealing with a terminal diagnoses, 6 months means a lot.

Zytiga (Abiraterone) is a drug used in castration-resistant prostate cancer  (prostate cancer not responding to androgen deprivation or treatment with antiandrogens).  Abiraterone was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2011. In Phase III trials, it extended median survival to 14.8 months versus 11.2 months placebo and the trial was stopped because of the successful outcome.  

We have several friends that have been on it and it lowered their PSA and was effective in sustaining them for about 4-6 months before it became ineffective (all of Terence's treatments have averaged success anywhere from 3 to 6 months before having to move on to the next one).

We think this will be the next step, but I suppose until we review Terence's scans next week, we won't know.

Of course, there's always the miracle.  We never stop hoping and we never stop watching for it, not only for Terence, but for all of our friends fighting this disease. 

We hope and pray for a cure but never stop believing for a miracle.


How many of you are willing to have a moment of prayer at the same time every week? Let us start with Monday Mornings at 9am eastern 8 am central and 7 am on the West coast. 
Pray that a cure is found for cancer. 
Spend 60 seconds in prayer with me just once a week. 
Pray that God will lead the minds and hands of cancer researchers to find a cure.

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