Tuesday, April 29, 2008

And so we carry on ...

An update as promised. I met with Dr. Huh yesterday. My weight is fine, blood counts look good as well as all other vitals. The scan showed no change, which was good news. Anytime I find that the treatments have stopped working I wonder if the cancer has had enough time to grow. This time we cought it in time to keep it from growing and I can actually take a week off before I start the next regimen.

Throughout my 2 years of treatment I have either been on a regimen that stops the cancer from growing or one that shrinks the cancer. Starting Monday (5/5) I will start a regimen that incorporates both concepts. The first treatment will be Erbitux (a target medicine that shrinks the tumors) and Avastin (a target medicine that keeps tumors from growning) and Xeloda (a chemotherapy that aids both). Xeloda is a chemo pill that I administer myself at home. The week after that I will only do the Erbitux and Xeloda and it will rotate like that throughout the regimen. I've never been on this regimen before so I don't know what it will do to me. I've been on each of these medicines at one time or another, but never all at the same time. It will be interesting.

I am back to work now. The MetLife disability insurance informed us (after 7 weeks of paper work and no income) that we don't qualify for the program because I have a pre-existing condition that is more than 3 months old. If it had only been 3 months that my cancer had existed then I could qualify. I guess disability is not necessary if you've been sick for a long time. Only in America! The longer you are sick the less chance you have of getting help. Not only did we get denied disability but my office manager told me that our insurance was going to cancel us affective May 1. The good news is that social security cleared us to start recieving benefits to subsidize our income ... in September. So, when you get sick you risk losing your income without any disability and the insurance wants to cancel you as well and of course the government is always a day late and a dollar short. Well, God is the great equalizer of all that kind of nonsense. Just pray that we can go back to normal insurance coverage without any hassels.

I'm thankful that I do feel well enough to start work again. Dr. Huh is skeptical, but he is willing to let me give it a try. Pray that God gives me the strength to prove him wrong. It has been good to be back at the clinic for more than just my own treatments. I have enjoyed seeing some of the patients again, but I have found that the list of patients is just as new as our new facility. Wow, I have a lot of work to do just to learn all of the new faces. Keep it all in your prayers.

Thanks for all your prayers and support,

Warren and family

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Here we go again!

The last time I blogged I told you about my marker going up and that it could possibly be an indication of the treatments losing their effectiveness. Well, it seems that is what has happened. The doc had one of the nurses call me today to set up a C/T scan for this week. I asked "did doc get a red flag from my tumor marker?" She said "yes it has gone up". It was 42.6 then it went up to 46 and stayed there for a month and then it went to 55. So clearly it has stopped working and we need to scan, see where the cancer is problematic and react accordingly.

I don't feel any pain in my side where the liver is, but I have struggled to breath and my coughing is worse again. I'm guessing the lungs want to take off again, but I can't say for sure. The scan will tell the story. With that in mind remember to be praying for me on Thursday (4/24) at 11:15. I'll be scanned at that time. Monday I'm scheduled to meet with the doc and discuss the results and where we go from here.

I'm begining to get the impression that I'm facing a very stubborn cancer. Has anyone else out there thought the same thing? Am I alone in this theory?

I appreciate all of you who are praying and those of you who are so faithful to share with your church or prayer group and friends the request to pray for me. Remember, scan on Thursday (4/24) at 11:15 and results Monday (4/28) with what we will be doing next. Pray for Dr. Huh to be given the wisdom of God in regard to my treatments. Pray for us as a family. It is hard to get this kind of news and it is even harder to wait for results and consultation.

Thank you all and God bless,
Warren and family

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Happy Birthday Warren!!!! I hope you don't mind us cracking into your blog to wish you a very special Birthday! We love you so much. Mom and Dad said, "To our favorite Son-in-Law Alex, Uhhh, We meant, Warren, We Love You!!! Your card and check are in the mail.
Love you!!
Dad, Mom, Jim, Dana, Tyler, Will, Alex, Jana, and Ella

Friday, April 4, 2008

Keep the prayer wheels turning

I wanted to update everyone on how things are going. I was trying to hold off until I got the results from this week's blood work. But I can't seem to get the info I need from the lab. The nurses say they are waiting for the info themselves.
Here is what I do know. I have been feeling better. I got to go to the MBBC wrestling reunion in St. Louis a couple of weeks ago. We hooked up with Scott and Michelle Ice and drove over together. We had a great time. It was Easter weekend so we had time with family as well as all of the Easter festivities for the children. I slept much of Saturday and part of Sunday, but I did manage to show up for the highlights. Yes, I am feeling better.
This week I had my treatments again and I seem to be doing well again. I still have a few days before I'm out of the woods with sickness and so on. I have been requesting an extra dose of side affect medicine before they disconnect my I.V. and it has really helped. It mostly helps with the sickness, but does nothing for exhaustion and other discomforts. But it is the sickness that really causes a problem and contributes to something that Doc has been bothered by for the past few weeks.
Doc has been unhappy with my weight loss lately. When I'm sick it contributes to the weight loss. When I lose weight I become puny and less able to tolerate the treatments. So, pray that I can hold my weight and continue on. I still have about 10-15 pounds before it becomes critical. I don't think it will come to that but you never know.
The other thing he is watching is my tumor marker. Up until the last treatment we saw the marker plummet in big numbers each time the marker was tested. As of my treatment 2 weeks ago we saw it rise 3.4 points(from 42.6 to 46). The rise in the marker is not significant and we are thankful for that. However, when it goes from plummeting in big numbers to rising just a little we have to wonder if the treatments are beginning to lose effectiveness and we'll have to start again on something else. Remember, we are on a regimen to shrink the tumors and we want to get the full benefit of as many treatments as possible. I think Doc is hoping to get at least 4 more treatments (8 more weeks) before we move on to something else. So, the prayer is that we keep the tumor marker going down, even if it is in smaller intervals, and let the treatments last for as long as the Doc deems necessary.
If the marker goes up 2 more times he will probably stop the regimen and move on to something else.
So, yes I'm feeling better, but I do have some concerns to deal with. Keep us in your prayers and thanks for all of your support.

God bless,
Warren and company.