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Our Fight Continues

From Elaine's CaringBridge Site

Journal entry by Laura Roberts — 10/15/2015

Elaine had the PET Scan yesterday (Wednesday) and we sat down and talked with the doctor. The results were not exactly what we had hoped but not entirely bad news. The foot does not even light up on the PET Scan at this point which is great, great news. The shoulder however lights up as bright as the first PET Scan and is worse. There are more areas in her shoulder than before and it is in the bone not the muscle. It was hard to tell before but is clear now. The doctor said it was good news that it had not grown outside the bone. Additionally, there are two new places on Elaine's right hip which is very upsetting.

What does all this means and where do we go from here? So, the first two drugs that we started with showed improvement in the foot and the shoulder. On the very first PET Scan that we did the area in her foot and in her shoulder lit up very red meaning a lot of metabolic activity (i.e. cancer). After the first two rounds of chemo (Vincristine and Irinotecan) we did another PET Scan and both the foot and the shoulder lit up but lighter in color meaning less metabolic activity. The cancer was still there but we were killing it. The next three rounds of chemo were the drugs Ifosfamide, Etoposide, Cycloposphamide, Doxorubican and Vincristine. This combination of drugs did further improve the foot to where it doesn't even light up at all on the PET Scan but we lost what we had gained in the shoulder and now have these additional places on the hip to contend with. We are going to change our course somewhat. Our original plan called for weeks 20 through 25 to be the same as weeks 1 through 6 (Vincristine and Irinotecan) with the addition of radiation. In addition to the Vincristine and Irinotecan we will also give Cyclophosphamide and add Temsirolimus and VinORELBine. We don't know exactly when this will start as Elaine's counts are still low from the chemo she received last week. We go back to the clinic Friday to check her counts and give her blood and/or platelets if needed. She will also have another bone marrow biopsy done to see if there is a change there. Based on the results of the lab work we will set the date for the next round of chemo to start.

The good news for Elaine and what makes her happy is that she is not having surgery on her foot since it responded so well to the chemo. Honestly we don't really want to waste the time on surgery and a recovery when the priority has changed to her shoulder and now hip. We need to start more chemo to get these areas under control. Elaine is also happy that this means a change in hospital stays. We were facing two more 5-day stays and 6 more 3-day stays. That changes to possibly a few overnight stays but it is possible these new drugs can all be given as outpatient in the infusion room at the clinic. This will be decided more during our discussion with the doctor tomorrow (Friday).

Of course we had hoped for better news. Getting the news yesterday we were knocked down but today we will stand up, brush ourselves off and continue to fight. My faith is not shaken.

In much lighter news, congratulations to the kids that made the Thompson Tennis Team this year. We can't wait to see some matches. #WarriorStrong

And the best news of today...Auburn is playing Kentucky! War Eagle!

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. Isaiah 55:8.

Rejoice and exult in hope; be patient and steadfast in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12.

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