June 7, 2006

Last week Diana had several tests including a Brain MRI and a total body (neck to tip of foot) bone scan. Needless to say, the past week was a little nerve wracking. Neither Diana nor I had much activity nor sleep this week – we stayed around our house most every day. We only ventured out when required to the grocery or drug stores. Diana has been very fatigued and has been plagued with a constant headache. The bump on her head and the headache were the main reasons Dr. Blumenschein wanted to do the MRI brain scan.

Anyway, we drove in to MD Anderson Clinic this morning to meet with Dr. Blumenschein and get the test results. We left the house at 6:45 AM. First Diana had to get a blood test. Next, we had to get her infusion of Zameda. Finally it was time to see Dr. Blumenschein.Well the news we received from Dr. Blumenschein wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The MRI brain scan did not show any cancer lesions on or in the brain. Good news. However, the bump on her head was from a new spot of cancer in the skull. The skull is considered bone and is treated the same as the cancer in her other bones. Several spots of cancer in the skull that had been detected on her previous MRI (2005) were not visible. However, there were several new spots of cancer including the bump detected in the skull.

The body bone scan revealed the same results. Several spots that were detected last time (2005) were gone. However, there were several new spots of cancer that showed up. Dr. Blumenschein did not see any signs of cancer that he would think was causing Diana’s back pain – good news. We are attributing the back pain to the move. Overall, there was slightly more new cancer growth than cancer cells that disappeared.

We had a long discussion as to what strategy to move forward with. A new study was released this week discussing positive results using Avastin (chemo like infusion drug) with Tarceva (Diana’s current daily oral pill). We finally agreed to a new regimen for Diana. Her liver blood readings were a little high and that ruled out one of the possible chemo’s – Taxotere.

The new regimen is Diana would stop taking Tarceva immediately. Starting next week, Diana will start getting a new chemotherapy drug – Gemcitabine (Gemzar). The procedure will be that she will get Gemzar on next Wednesday. She will get a second dose the following week on Wednesday and skip the third week, It will then be two more weekly doses of Gemzar with the third (sixth) week off. After this six week trial, Dr. Blumenschein will measure the results and decide whether to continue with Gemzar.

We also met with the pharmacist to find a drug she could take for her sinus headache. A prescription has been called into the pharmacy that we will pick up tomorrow.

Bottom-line – it looks like we are back to the same place we were 18 months ago. We are starting a new regimen of Chemo. Hopefully Diana will respond to Gemzar as she did to Alimpta. Diana is somewhat relieved with the test results we received today. As Dr. Blumenschein said – Diana does not have that much disease visible in her body. If we can keep it in check, we will be very happy. Ever since last November, Diana has had to take her Tarceva pill at 7:00 AM every day. She doesn’t have to take Tarceva tomorrow morning and is going to celebrate by sleeping in.

Construction is moving forward on our new house. We have set a closing date of June 23. that means I will become the superintendent on that date. I have to get the inside painted – including two rooms faux painted – the hardwood floor put down and all the tile work done. We are scheduling our move in date for July 1. I have lots to get done in a short time. However, that date works well with Diana’s schedule at MD Anderson and will give us a long Fourth of July weekend in our new home. We can spend the time unpacking. Really a fun task to look forward to doing.

Thanks for your prayers and support.