Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Update #2

We know a lot more than we did a couple of days ago. Here's the break down of events...

We went to Mayo and the doctor showed us my dad's scans. While we knew that there was a lot of cancer in him, I don't think we thought it would be as much as what showed up. There's cancer in nodes in his neck, sternum, armpits, there are two ribs that have cancer destroying them, the outside lining of his stomach has cancer in it, his spleen has cancer in it and is very enlarged. His abdomen in general has a lot of cancer in it.

This is what the doctor told us about his cancer. In Non-Hodgkin's there are two cell types that can be affected, B-cells and T-cells. In NHL 80% of patients have the B-Cell affected and 20% have the T-Cell. My dad has both, and therefore has two types of lymphoma. The B-cell type can be treated and possibly cured, and is also the one that is causing all of his symptoms. It is an aggressive form that is fast growing. The T-Cell type is slow growing and cannot be cured but maintained basically. The T-Cell group can turn into the more aggressive type and that is what the doctor believes what happened.

Now for stats. The doctor said if my dod chooses to do nothing and let the cancer run it's course, he had weeks to live.....3, 4, maybe 5. If he decided to do the chemo treatment he could have years. I am not sure what that means, but to be honest, we were trying to absorbe all of the info and didn't ask. The chance of the chemo actually working is 45-50%. If he chose to do the treatment he would be admitted to the hospital and the treatment would start immediately. He chose to do that. The reason for being monitored for the treatment is because when someone has as much Lymphoma as he does, they want to monitor to make sure his kidneys and his liver is functioning ok as the chemo attacks the lymph nodes and they basically drain, making the liver and kidneys work harder. So he was to have a half dose of the first chemo (which is actually an anti-body) last night, the rest today and then the rest of the chemo drugs (5 different drugs total). They started his drip last night, and within 10 minutes he had a reaction. His bloodpressure spiked or dropped (I don't remember which), his breathing became labored, he got the sweats and the shakes, and his heart rate when up to 212. They stopped the drip, telling him they would give him more meds and try again at a lower dose the next day.

So today in the afternoon they gave him 1/4 of the treatment, and the same thing happened. He has been moved to the Cardiac ICU and they are now testing him to see if there has been any heart damage from the chemo. We don't know how long he will be there, but when he is done there, he will be moved back to his room to try the chemo again. And that is all I know for right now. He is miserable and understandibly quite crabby with the situation. Have I told you how much this cancer crap sucks?


Social Retard said...
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Shari said...

Sue, my heart goes out to your family. I'm sorry to hear about this. My thoughts and prayers go out to you, your family, and your dad. May God bless you and wrap his arms around all of you.