I’m going to start with the “summary” for all those who don’t want the long account of what has happened over the last few days. In short, we got David’s MRI results today, and he has had some new tumor growth. There are a total of four tumors that they are watching. Two have remained stable – the one on his spine and one of the “new” ones in his brain. The original tumor site has stayed mostly the same, although they thought it looked a little “puffy”. (Yes, that’s the term the doctor used.) The last tumor has grown. It is still quite small, but we weren’t happy with the rate of growth – visible to the naked eye. They recommended stopping Avastin so that David would be eligible for more trials, and because it didn’t seem to be doing enough good at this point. (They left Avastin as an option for later, possibly.) They recommended that we go to the National Institute of Health, just a little further up the road, and see if David qualifies for one of the two trials that we are looking at there. We have an appointment there on Wednesday.
Ok, now for the longer version.A few people have asked why David had to have 4 MRIs. That was a new one for me, too, but apparently, the spine is done in 3 sections. As it turned out, they were able to do the brain scan and the 3 spine scans all at the same time. So that was good for David. After the MRI, he did go have lunch in DC with his dad, stepmother, sister, two step sisters, and their old neighbors. Jose Andres made a special menu just for David and really gave them all the royal treatment. David had a great time.
Today’s doctor visit was longer than normal because we spent a lot of time talking with the doctor about options. David asked a lot of good questions, and made some creative suggestions about how to deal with the cancer. The doctor was very patient in explaining everything… even why David’s well-intended suggestions wouldn’t work.
The nurse assigned to David had fractured some of her fingers while she was out running. This prompted David to show them his weird finger trick. (He is double jointed in every knuckle.) The doctor sort of cringed and looked away, making everyone chuckle. It is a sight to behold, but I’m sure they’ve seen much worse!
Anyway, we talked about the options open to David, and we all have a little more research to do. David seems to be more eager to be part of the discussion now, so I am thankful for that. It seems there are so many things on the horizon that could be the answer, but we are really in a race against the clock. I know God put us in the race, though, so He’ll see us through it.
I’d like to end with an update on Spotless Mind. The kids had a meeting last Thursday, and two representatives from Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) came down to meet with them. The answered a lot of questions about brain cancer, research, and fundraising. They are excited to work with us as we pull together some little fundraisers in Virginia, and we have already signed on as a team to support their Race for Hope in DC. We will volunteer and some of the folks from our group will run the 5K. We are excited to be partnering with such a well known organization, and I think the kids will learn a lot from working with them.
The race will be May 6, 2012 in Washington, DC. If you want to sign up to be a part of our team or help our fundraising efforts, you can use this link:
A couple of days after the Spotless Mind meeting, the group received a very generous donation from a most gracious donor. You see, this was his second donation. When he found out that we had passed along his first donation (because we haven’t attained 501(c)(3) status), he sent the kids another check so they could still pursue their non-profit designation. I would shout his name from the rooftops in thanks, but he wouldn’t want that. So I will just say that in my mind, he is a saint. His generosity is not new to me, but this gesture made me teary eyed and speechless. I still have no adequate words to thank him.
Thanks to all of you for your prayers and positive thoughts. We feel the love from all of you in so many special little ways. From silly photos to make us smile to rides to/from the airport, we have such a supportive “family”. Nothing can make this journey easy, but it is easier with the help of all of you.