Monday, November 16, 2009

Not 1, not 2, but 3 more chemo treatments...

Let's see,
Dr. Chen gave her opinion from Taiwan - she recommends 6 more rounds of chemo - 3 of cycle #1 and 3 of cycle #2;

Dr. Grier gave his opinion from Boston - he thinks Nick's chance of recurrence is really, really high and chemo is only shot to fight it. Would like to see Nick finish up 6 months of treatment, using cycles #1, #2 & #3. He also respects Nick's decision to stop treatment.

Dr. Gouw gave his opinion from Huntsman - his suggestion is somewhat of a compromise as he a little more optimistic than Dr. Grier - 3 cycles of #1, which is one-day infusion of vincristine, dactinomycine and cyclophosphamide. This is the cycle that put Nick in the hospital last time, so he'll reduce dosage. This will also qualify Nick for Ariad's Success clinical trial, should Nick decide to enroll early next year. Dr. Gouw, Chen & Albritton all agree to save cycle #3 if relapse should occur.

Nick, of course, has his opinion, believing today was to be his last day of chemo treatment, just waiting to hear which cycle they decided upon. Discussion in doctor's office today was a lot to digest and filter through, leaving the decision ultimately with Nick. How many more? What a ridiculous decision for a 20-year old to make; he decided to go with 3 more. He'll have the first one tomorrow, 2nd one on Dec 7th and last one on Dec 28th.

He was to go with his dad on a cruise to New Zealand on Dec 31st. This would put him at risk with his counts low and feeling pretty crappy - he isn't sure about going now. On a positive note, he will go ahead and register for at least one class up at the U of U for spring semester.

On more positive notes, he went to Moab, Utah this past weekend - more pictures and stories to follow in a day or two. Lee and I hosted a couples retreat in Scottsdale, Arizona this week and my highlight was sharing a video on Nick's journey. Nick's little sister, Kelsey, and her team "Bukoos" took first place champions in the 12 & under softball tournament in St. George - first away softball trip with just her and her dad. And his other sister, Carly, tended to the house while we were all away, and the dogs survived!

Please say an extra prayer for the Paganelli family - visit as well as for Zach McCulloch and his family - visit Rhabdo is a particularly brutal cancer and although there are innumerable numbers of children I follow, it is the young men that are Nick's age that really hold a special place in my heart.

May blessings of Thanksgiving be in abundance to you all. Thank you!



Anonymous said...

Trust in yourself. Trust in your knowledge. Trust in your heart. And yes, at 20 you shouldn't have to be making these choices. It's crazy. I have faith in you. :)
G.M. Jennie xx

Chris Ulvin said...

Dear Nick,
You are loved. I will pray insistently. May God's gracious hand be upon you. Today, December 7th, December 28th and beyond.
Love, aunt Chris