Monday, August 30, 2010

The Plan

Nick, Todd, Lee and I met with Dr. Gouw this morning. It appears the cancer is seeded throughout his entire abdominal cavity, with the largest mass - 3" x 2" in his lower left abdomen. The ascites (pockets of malignant fluid) are growing in size so that Nick is obviously bloated and uncomfortable. Dr. Gouw reluctantly told us we are no longer looking for a cure, but a way to slow down the cancer's growth. Our options are:

1. Start up again on the 3 different concoctions of chemo that Nick was on last fall.
2. Consider surgery down the road to remove the larger mass, as well as any other lesions the surgeon can find, with an option to have chemo applied directly into the abdominal cavity.
3. Consider a phase 1 trial, also down the road.

Nick and Dr. Gouw decided to go ahead and start chemo again on Thursday. This particular cycle is done over a six-hour period and then he'll be off for the next 3 weeks. The subsequent cycle will be a 5-day out-patient treatment beginning on Sept 27th. If all goes well, Nick will be assessed after the third cycle - probably around mid-October - to see how he is responding to the chemo. Of course, they will monitor him closely as things may change very quickly. But for now, this is how we will proceed. Dr. Gouw also gave him a diuretic to help him literally pee out the ascites.

We are all a little overwhelmed, a little shell-shocked and really, really sad. We've been bringing out the comedy dvd's, board games, and our beloved dice game again. Nick is going to see John Mayer tomorrow night and our Univ of Utah plays Pittsburgh on Thursday. Nick and his dad will be taking off for Moab this weekend to enjoy the holiday weekend. It will be good for them both.

I pray God's grace blesses our family as we prepare for our most difficult journey yet. My faith has not wavered and I rely on the prayers of all those that love us to bring strength, healing, acceptance and comfort to our family.

Thank you all for being there - it really makes a difference.

With gratitude,



Obsessedwithlife said...

Thinking of your family and praying for you...My heart hurts as I've been there too :(.

Lori said...

Prayers and thoughts are with you all. Sending hugs and love your way.

Anonymous said...

I'll continue to light candles and say many prayers to give you all the strength you will need through this journey.
Love ya,

akparamedic said...

Even though we're thousands of miles away, in spirit we couldn't possibly be any closer.

Always, always, ALWAYS,


Anonymous said...

I have no magic words to make you feel better. I have no magic wand to take the cancer away (O'h how I wish I did). I do have strong prayers... determination... wide shoulders... and so much love for you. Love & light - GM Jennie xx

Anonymous said...

Nick, we pray for you every day, and your whole family. We love you. Your smile is so heartening! The strength you give us is immeasurable. Holding all of you in our hearts.
Love always,
Jon and Sherri and Family

Chris Ulvin said...

Dear nephew Nick,
I'm joining your cancer Exodus with faith, hope and love. In prayer, aunt Chris

Lorin Decker Buck said...

Dear Lori,

We had the “no longer looking for a cure” conversation April 6 -- a date that probably will be seared in my memory forever. I remember how I felt, and I’m sure you feel no less devastated. Frankly, I felt like I’d been gored.

But you will keep going, day by day. You will give Nick the most loving care imaginable and will make the most of the time you have together. You will be carried on a cushion of prayer by all those who know and love you. And you will always be a family, no matter what happens.

Sending prayers, hugs and love during this sacred time,
Lori B

Anonymous said...

Nick, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers many times each day.
Pam Sweeten