Monday, June 22, 2009

June 22, 2009

To those of you who are regular followers of this blog, I apologize that I have not written in a while. As I have mentioned before, rather than turn this into a blog about me, with political or even religious views, I had intended this blog to be about Anne, and her colorectal cancer treatment. I can happily report that she has been doing well enough that there hasn't been much for me to write about.

Last Monday Anne got her 4th chemo treatment. It went well, but she did have a bit more stomache cramping than she had had in the past. She did get better by Friday, thankfully, and her cramping has been a lot less since then. Unfortunately, she's convinced that chocolate cake (thanks Cathy M) and icecream may not be the best thing for her to eat. Today she got some labs again, and although most of the values were below normal, they weren't that bad, and will hopefully be high enough for her to get her chemo again next Monday--so keep praying. I'm convinced that the praying is working since her neutrophils haven't decreased enough for her not to get the chemo except that one time.

We had an appointment with Dr. Balcueva today. I now know what it's like for patients to wait 2 hours to see the doctor--but I have to say, it was well worth it. Our news was more than fantastic--it was remarkable--or whatever term may be better! Anne's liver enzymes have all returned to normal (3 out of 4) and the 4th is just a bit above normal. All of her other blood values have returned to normal. Interestingly, the CEA (carcino-embryonic antigen) which may not be elevated in colorectal cancer, was in fact 3600 (normal 0-6.0) when first checked--but it is down to around 200 now--a dramatic decrease! In addition to that, where her liver was palpable I think 10 cm below the ribs, is now not palpable at all. Yes--it shrunk in size. You gotta think that the tumors are responding to the chemo. Praise be to God!!!

Dr. Balcueva has recommended repeating her abdominal CT-scan to check the size of the colon and liver tumors. He has also recommended going back to Mayo Clinic for a repeat consultation to ask: 1) Do we continue the same chemo regimen? 2) Should we think about removing the segment of colon with the cancer? 3) If not, does the colon stent need to be replaced at some point in time--does it last forever? We may wind up going back there in mid-July, after chemo dose #6 and after the CT scan. All I can say is: THE PRAYERS ARE WORKING!!!!!!! KEEP THEM COMING!!!!

"But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank. " Jeremiah 17:7-8

We have turned our trust over to God and He has responded with incredible results. I am fully confident that God has prevailed in our fight against this cancer so far--causing the liver tumors to shrink, and returning most of Anne's labs to normal. Maybe some of you think this could happen by chemo alone, but I'm not convinced. She has only had 4 doses of chemo so far, and yet her tumors are shrinking like crazy--and most importantly, she has remained mostly side-effect free during the whole process. That in itself is a miracle. Most people who have seen her remark on how well she looks--and she does. She still looks as beautiful as ever (even though her hair is getting thinner--but she still has a ton more than me!). Her weight is remaining the same, and her appetite is good. Other than having the cancer go away together all together--what more could you ask for.

I hope all of the dads out there had as good a Father's Day as I did. We went to church together (Michelle was home from East Lansing fsince Saturday), then ate leftovers from Famous Dave's for lunch. Anne and I did a bit of shopping and then I got to do some paperwork while the 3 of them gabbed. Then I got to cook dinner--and clean up! We had a great time Saturday night. After eating dinner at Dave's, we decided to go to the movies to see Up- the Disney Pixar film. If you haven't seen it yet, you need to go. It was very cute, but also a great film for adults, with a wonderful message. I had the 3 of them rolling at the theater when I had a hard time getting into my seat. The darn seats were too narrow! I'm about as fat as I've ever been, but that didn't explain my trouble. The darn cupholders on the armrests made the entrance to the seat too narrow for me to get in. Mind you, I played it up a bit--but it was indeed not easy to get in and out of the seat--and I must have had to do it a dozen times. I love making them all laugh. I think the other people in the theater were having fun with it too.

God Bless


  1. That is incredible news! So happy to hear that things continue to improve. What an amazing testament!

    Best wishes!

  2. Hey Anne and Tony,

    This is the first chance I've had to read your blog recently, and all of this is great news! Thanks and praise be to God! I agree also that He is answering the many prayers that are going up for both of you. I also pray that He will continue to give you both strength and support as well as wisdom to the doctors. LeeAnn