Thursday, July 24, 2014

Kicking about half the Brain Tumor to the Curb. ;-)

Time for another update!  

It's been a busy week for medical appointments and news.  Latest CT shows the 5 tumors in Mark's body are RELATIVELY stable when looking at the overall picture.  There was only one tumor with significant growth and it was one of the ones in the liver.  However, bloodwork shows the liver function to be normal at present.  All the bloodwork looked good for someone who just underwent radiation.

The MRI showed the brain tumor has SHRUNK.  YES...this is a PRAISE GOD, newsworthy event for our immediate longevity outlook!!!  :-)  Mark will not likely expire today or tomorrow.  Yes, that's a little bit of humor.  I realize it's not a humorous situation but sometimes the only way to get through these things is to keep it as light as possible. 

There is a clinical trial that we are currently researching (when I say WE, I mean the doctors).  Here's the link for those that want to read about it:  Clinical Trial Link ~ Selumetinib
This would be to treat the other 5 tumors in Mark's body (lung, liver (2), gallbladder, & adrenal gland).  He would have to be off of the steroids for an entire month before they would even consider him a candidate.  As of today's radiologist appointment we are going to be tapering off on the steroids to every other day for 2 weeks then to NONE.  This will be okay as long as Mark has no neurological symptoms from tapering off OR does not begin to get headaches again.  So, it's a wait and see process.  We are also getting another opinion from a top Ocular Melanoma doctor in Pennsylvania.  He may know of some other life prolonging possibilities that our doctors here have not heard of yet.  We shall see.  Some of these new drugs require that your cells have certain mutations so there are labs being done right now to see if Mark's are compatible to this trial that's currently running.  (also, I'm just talking in laymen's terms to the best of my ability to recall what the doctors have said...I may not have some of the terminology right! disclaimer of the day!).

Mark DOES have some memory issues right now...recalling things he should know (not super important things like who his children are, ha ha!).  He also was not able to walk heel to toe without balance issues in the office today.  He says it's his flip flops but I will be keeping a close watch on his balance in the near future.  He is still very fatigued almost all of the time and has lost most of his muscle mass, which is very discouraging to him as he would like to be building that back up and wants more energy.  He is hoping the doctor will approve some physical therapy soon so he can begin improving his physical condition some, if that's possible.  

We are working through the mass of paperwork involving disability...looking at long term and social security disability in the future.  We were approved for short term but it's a very small amount compared to what we were making before Mark could no longer work.  Your donations & prayers have made ALL the difference in our ability to pay our bills and live life!  THANK YOU, as always.  We are living in a state of continual gratefulness to God and to each of you.  We are very aware of our need and where our provision comes from...and we are filled with awe on a regular basis at the outpouring of love and prayers and financial donations.

Our future is uncertain... we still do this one day at a time and we know that every single day is a gift.  We are trying to be very responsible and to cover all our bases.  HOME base is always PRAYER and GRATITUDE.  

Thank you for your continued prayers!!!  :-) 

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