Dad and I arrived safely in Santa Monica last night. It was a loooong drive through the rain. But it was fine.
Today we met with Dr Chawla who runs the Sarcoma Oncology Center. What a very nice man, and a very well run facility. Here's what we know:
- Dad is not eligible for the original alternative treatment. (This was to be a treatment of cancer using osteoporosis medication with frequent injections.)
- Dad is not eligible because his cancer has already metastasized from the wrist to his lungs.
- This was a MAJOR blow
- Dad's original stance was that chemo was a big no no
- Well, dad will be getting chemo. It apparently is the only shot and ridding him of this cancer. =(
- He is eligible for a 'trial' of a new kind of chemo called Yondelis (Know idea how you really spell it...) this is supposed to be less toxic. Dr Chawla believes that this new kind of chemo (after trials) will be eventually be the more superior chemo
- Dad needs to get a port-a-cath put in for his chemo, this means a surgical procedure, which means that he'll need to stop his coumadin for at least 3 days. Oy. Blow #2. We thought he'd get to START treatment today.
- He did get blood work and an EKG done today.
- Pro time test on Wed to be sure his blood is clotting (since stopping coumadin today)
- if Pro-time is good, then proceed for port-a-cath Thursday
- After port-a-cath: EAT. Then straight to Dr Chawla to start treatment with the Yondelis chemo
- Yondelis is a 24 hour cycle treatment. Show up, get hooked up to a bag that will administer the medication over the next day. Leave. Return to office following day to 'un-hook.' Repeat every 3 weeks. At some point (after 3-4 treatments I think) they do another scan to see if the tumors are resonding at all to chemo.
- Dr Chawla explained that lung cancers are only treatable 30-40% of the time.
- Also that Dad will need additional surgeries on both his wrist and his lung.
- This new chemo is only approved by the FDA for trials in 3 places in the US
- Dad and I drove to St John's Hospital today which is where he'll get the port-a-cath placed. Just so we know how to get there....
Little side note: this leads me to another topic. There are certain things in life that I shouldn't know. Routines that I shouldn't have. Places that I shouldn't know how to get to. Hmph. I know far too well the ways around Lucile Packard, Stanford, Dominican. And now my way around Santa Monica, and to and from Chawla's office and St John's. Phooey.
Gosh Dad's a good sport. Over dinner tonight, where we just ate and ate and ate.... he said that he had no problem at all doing this kind of stuff for mom when she was sick. But for himself.... he just didn't want to make this kind of stuff routine. =(
So if his INR levels for pro time AREN'T good enough to proceed with the surgery to place the port-a-cath, then everything is pushed back.
As it stands right now.... get port-a-cath and start chemo on Thursday. Return to Sarcoma Oncology Friday. Drive home WITH dad this weekend. But, as always, things are changing daily, minute by minute.
Ok, all for now. Keep praying.