Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Latest E-mail about Chris

Hello Friends and Family,
Well it has been a little over 6 months since Chris started her latest round of chemotherapy treatments and about 3 months since my last update to you so I thought I would send out an email to update those of you who may not have had a chance to look at the website (http://chris-dewitt-updates.blogspot.com/).

Chris had her last treatment around February 8'th and I must say that she has tolerated her treatments very well! Yes, she lost her hair (it will grow back), and had a few days of being tired but she continues to feel well and goes to work on a regular basis! The Dr. has done a great job in giving her the medications she needs to go along with the chemo to make her life easier. It seems like there is a drug for just about everything! And I think she's had most of them.

She has really been an inspiration to me and everyone around her. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am to have her as my wife. She continues to be the Mom and Wife that holds our family together. Having Alex go to college was a huge change in our lives and I'm still trying to adjust to that, but Chris has made that transition a lot easier.

March 7'th Chris had several tests, bone scan, CT scan and bloodwork. After a long day of tests at the hospital we spoke with the Dr. and found out that the bone scan showed a small area that had shown up previously on some other CT scans. The CT scan was pretty much middle of the road. Although the tumors that are in her liver have continued to reduce in size there are now more of them. As the Dr. explained it sometimes when a large tumor shrinks from chemo it may break up into several pieces. So although it is shrinking it is multiplying. It's not a bad thing though. Her blood work has shown that her liver functions are in fact normal, and that her CA 27/29 (cancer markers in the blood) are much lower than they have been before. These 2 things show that the chemo is doing what it is supposed to.

As you know Chris wants to become part of her oncologist's clinical study. It was recently highlighted on the local Washington,DC channel. Here's a link http://news.wjla.com/news/stories/0107/390502.html
Click on the video. We are very excited about her Dr. and all that she is doing and are very thankful to our previous oncologist for recommending her to us!

Now that Chris is off chemo and because her cancer is ER/PR positive (hormone positive) she is being placed on Tamoxifin. This drug prevents the naturally occurring hormones that are in her body from helping the cancer to grow. Here's a link for a better description http://www.breastcancer.org/tre_sys_tamox_idx.html

Dr. Emens explained to us how her clinical trial works and that Chris is currently eligible, but before moving forward she wanted us to see a doctor that specializes in administering chemotherapy directly to the liver and not throughout the body. The doctor's name is Dr. Georgiades and the procedure is called liver chemoembolization. It sounds really complicated but we think that it is good option for her right now. We had a meeting with Dr. Georgiades on Wednesday 3/14. Here is information on the doctor and at bottom of his page you can go to a link on the procedure.

The idea here is that they can direct undiluted doses of chemo directly into the liver and prevent it from going to other parts of the body. This attacks the tumors much better and faster than normal IV chemo. We set up an appointment for March 26 to have the procedure done. It will first be done in the right liver lobe as that is where the most lesions are. She'll be in the hospital for 2 days and then about a week recovery. After 3 weeks she goes in for scans to see the results. If they are good then she will have another procedure to do the left lobe sometime after that, otherwise they can redo the right lobe if need be. The Dr. seemed very confident that based on Chris's current reaction to chemo that this procedure will certainly be beneficial to her.

I have created a new website to replace the old one. It is now located at http://chris-dewitt-updates.blogspot.com/ It is much easier for me to maintain this website. You can also leave your comments on each of the posts as well. It's a real BLOG! Please check out the links and the Pictures Page as I post pictures there quite a bit.

Well, I'm sorry for the long message but I know you want to be kept up to date. I'll post to the blog more frequently as we move ahead. Thank you to all of you for looking after our family and keeping us in your prayers. Don't hesitate to drop us a line at any time. I'm usually awake!!!

Charlie

2 comments:

Kim Lash said...

Chris, I think about you and your family all the time. You all seem so close.What a great job keeping the family running. Thats so important to have so many people behind you pushing and supporting you.I wish there was something I could do but I hope thinking and praying for you does something.I truly believe you'll beat this. Uncle Charlie thank you for the website what a great job keeping us updated. Love Kim

Charlie said...

Thanks Kimmy! Kim is my neice who lives in Arizona! No snow there...