Thursday, February 2, 2017

And the angels sang and the trumpets blared!!!

Psalm 69:30

Let me shout God's name with a praising song,
Let me tell His greatness in a prayer of thanks.

I'm very thankful for many things in my life and I've done a poor job of expressing my thanks and appreciation over the years.   I'll try to be succinct in this post, in order to hopefully let my prayful thanks be the lead.

Dasha and I headed to MD Anderson Monday night for appointments Tuesday.   I love getting to see Mindy, Dave and the kids and I'm blessed to have them in Houston for a place to stay!    9:30 am sonogram of my neck, and we headed upstairs to wait for Dr. Ross.   His nurse came in and we chatted for a long time, and she gave us insight into how we should approach another team at MD that we can't get a quick answer when we need them.   Dr. Ross and his PA came in and gave us the great news........"the sonogram showed the tumors are basically gone, the nivo/ipi has done it's job, and there is nothing for me to go get, so surgery is not needed at this point".  

So here is what has happened, explained in "non doctor" language:

The nivo/ipi is an immunotherapy treatment.   It tries to train your T-cells to attack bad things in your body, like cancer.   Think of chicken pox.......why do you only get them once?   Because your body trains itself to remember the virus and doesn't let it rear it's chicken head again.   The T-cells in me attacked the tumors, and wiped them out.  Now we hope that they will "remember" what the melanoma looks like, and will keep it away in the future.   Why did I have side effects?   When it ramps up your immune system, it sometimes turns and attacks other things, two of it's favorite and easiest things to attack are lungs and colon......hence the cough and aardvark issues.

We had another appointment with Dr. Lewis in the Head and Neck Surgical Center, and she agreed with Dr. Ross.   No need to do surgery at this point, and she had another interesting thought on surgery in the future.   Because I've had a ton of surgeries in the same location, she would avoid surgeries at all cost, instead she would tell Dr. Patel to reach into her 'bag of tricks' and throw something new at it because I had such a good reaction to the nivo/ipi.  

I head back to MD in a month to do a PET/CT scan, brain MRI with contrast, and another sonogram.  That will hopefully be uneventful, and they will continue to monitor me quarterly to make sure everything is going smoothly.   If something changes, I'll deal with that and will take address it head on again!!!

So there you go.   What an answer to prayer!   I can't begin thank everyone that has prayed for me, brought meals to the house, called, emailed, and the Go Fund Me page, where do I begin to say 'thanks' for

But none of this is possible without an amazing God, that cares about things like T-cells, and puts researchers in place years ago to start working on controversial drugs like Nivo/Ipi.   HE knew the outcome of this journey and orchestrated it from the start.



PS   Please pray for my friend Tracy who has surgery with Dr. Ross next Monday!  Thanks.

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