Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dr. Gouw is an alright guy...

We scheduled a meeting today with Dr. Gouw (Dr. Chen's replacement) to review his opinion of Nick's new chemo and/or radiation treatment upcoming in a few of weeks. Dr. Grier is still the lead, but Dr. Gouw is at the core of Nick's treatment, obtaining data, resources, discussions at length with Dr. Grier, Dr. Albritton and Dr. Chen (she is on top of a mountain but promised to be available if necessary - she is heavily vested in Nick's care, regardless of her sabbatical - what a great doctor!)

He came in talking 100 miles a minute; a little excited, a little nervous with a lot of care in his voice and eyes. Beginning conversations with Dr. Grier, Nick's prognosis was "dismal" - relapse alveolar, etc. After further conversations, Dr. Gouw now thinks Nick's 10% chance is up to 50% due to several factors; i.e. the complete eradication of the original tumor, Nick's response to chemo, his age, etc. Dr. Chen is the biggest advocate in aggressively attacking this rat bastard, rhabdo, because she thinks Nick can beat it again. They wouldn't be aggressive if they didn't think they could do it in order to maintain a quality of life for Nick. There was optimism all around the room, with a little hope, too. Let's make that LOTS of hope!

The tentative plan, which we will confirm next week when we meet with Dr. Grier in Boston, is to have 3 chemos - vincristine (which he has had all along), actinomycin-D and cytoxan, aka VAC. This concoction is usually for pediatric patients. Vincristine will be given once a week for 12 weeks and the other two will be administered on a a regular cycle of one week on, two weeks off for four cycles - all outpatient. Interesting, as the outpatient section of Huntsman is the only area we haven't been to yet - now we're complete.

We're still waiting to hear the full argument for radiation, but we don't have to worry about it yet until chemo is done. He'll still lose his hair but the chemo won't be nearly as brutal as his last 16 rounds. He is finally starting to feel better, but gets tummy aches after he eats. His pancreas is still trying to produce enzymes while trying to heal at the same time. He has gained 3 lbs so he really is on the mend.

On the drive home from this appointment, Nick said, "Now I can listen to anything Dr. Grier has to say! 50%, I can do 50%!"

Nick is a special guest for Petersen's Golf Tournament this Friday and will be presented a check for Nick's Warriors and his two charities. Amazing! Lee will be going with him while Carly, Kelsey and I head south for a big softball tournament in Spanish Fork, games beginning tomorrow morning. We all leave for Boston on Monday morning with our appt with Dr. Grier one week from today. Nick also had a chest ct done today but we aren't expecting any surprises, just follow-up.

Thanks everyone for keeping up with this journey. We are grateful for the prayers and support.

Love Lori

1 comment:

Chris Ulvin said...

Alright Nick
Your attitude of 100% added to Dr. Gouw's medical knowledge of 50%equals 75%. I'll pray for God grace to supply the last 25%. Love, aunt Chris