Monday, February 16, 2009

Now the fun begins...

Met with the oncologist today. She had the results from the MRI, which seem to confirm metastatic disease in my pelvic area and perhaps on one of my ovaries. Which solidifies my staging at Stage 4. Which unfortunately means the path ahead is an attempt to prolong my survival, rather than cure the disease. She said that with chemo, mean survival is 24-30 months. Without chemo, maybe 6-12 months. So clearly, we're proceeding with the chemo. Which starts...tomorrow.

She said that 60-70% of patients show response to the chemo. The plan is to hammer away with FOLFOX + Avastin (one of the newer biologically targeted drugs) for two months and then do another CT scan to see if the tumors are larger, smaller, or the same. Then we reassess whether to continue with the same drugs or change course. If the metastatic disease shows enough response and is localized enough, perhaps someday they could attempt a surgical resection. That is really my greatest hope at this point. But first we have to go at things with the chemo because we really can't pinpoint all the places this disease has taken a foothold.

The chemo schedule is about the same, 3 days of infusion every two weeks. The only difference is that there is no defined endpoint, no six months...just as long as it works, or as long as the benefits are greater than the side effects.

What do I want? What are our prayers? I want the chemo and Avastin to work. I pray that they are effective in seeking out and destroying the disease in my body. I'm hopeful that I'm able to tolerate the drugs without significant side effects that would cause us to have to back off or discontinue treatment. And as much as anything, I want to be able to enjoy every day with my precious family and friends and not feel so sick that I can't cherish the gifts that I have in each day.

I'm sure you'll all understand if I can't muster the energy to take a stab at something lighthearted tonight. My heart really feels a little heavy today.

15 comments:

Leslie said...

It amazes me that you mustered up enough strength to even post what you did. I just happened to be online and got email from Sean. Know nothing lighthearted from us will do much for ya right now either, so I will just say that we send our love and all the prayers that we can. I have forwarded Sean's email to my address book so God should have his ear bent tomorrow:) Know it sounds redundant.. but please let us know if there is anything you need. You, Sean or the kids. If Grandma Carole needs to get there, I can have her there in no time. Hope you sleep well..in spite of everything.

Anonymous said...

Our prayers are your prayers. We love you. Kim and Dave

Anonymous said...

We love you and have made your prayers our prayers. God bless you, sweet friend. Margaret

Anonymous said...

Oh Lisa Marie. We will love you and pray for you and hug you and your family. Allison

Anonymous said...

Know that we love you and will be with you every step of the way. I've added your prayers to both our church and my alum group. It has worked for me in the past. Keep your faith.
Love
Ragan

Anonymous said...

Our prayers, hearts, and strength are yours. Please use them. I believe in you to beat this.
Love always, Michele.

Art Usher said...

May your wishes and desires come true. May you have the least traumatic of all possible chemotherapy treatments as it impacts your ability to cherish your every day with your family and friends.

With love,
Art

Sara said...

Anything you need, just say the word.

Anonymous said...

We will hope, pray, and love you and your family every step of the way.
Kathryn

Anonymous said...

Never underestimate the healing power of the God. I continue to beseech the Lord, that you are blessed with all you need to survive the cancer siege taking place in your body and that all your hopes and dreams can be realized...
Love,
Auntie Carol

Mama T said...

I'm at a loss except that reading this posting made my stomach drop and the tears start. I'm so sorry that it's stage 4 and hope beyond hope that you beat these odds.
Man, this sucks.

Tiff

Stephanie said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. We're thinking about you and praying for you and Sean and the kids. We love you. Please, please let us know if there's anything at all that we can do to help.

virginia said...

I will pray for what you have asked, and have asked many others to pray, too. Peace and much love to you and your family.

Aunt Ginny

Anonymous said...

Lisa, Please know that we pray for you every day, and for your family. Surround yourself in the love of family and friends, and know that Jesus will hold you up. God bless you,
your aunt, Mary Ellen

The SullaVinos: said...

Never underestimate anything, including how many people have you and your family in their hearts and how many people are praying for you.