Christmas Update

December 24th, 2009

Hey Everyone,

Greetings from my hospital room here at MDA.  Its just after midnight so, happy Christmas Eve!

Im sorry I have not written in a while. After I finished up my brain radiation in November, I had a four week break from treatments. Which is the longest break I have had since this whole thing started. So, I enjoyed every minute of it. I had a great Thanksgiving with family in Ohio.  Spent some good time with friends in Cincinnati and Denver.  Spent some quality time with Boomer. I took a trip to South Carolina with good friends which was a lot of fun. And lastly, along with my brother, sister, and brother-in-law, I spent a long weekend in New York City which was great.

But then it was back to business.

I had the four week break because I got into a clinical trial for a drug made by GSK that deals with the BRAF mutation of melanoma tumor, which I am positive for.  Whenever a patient starts a drug trial, they must not have  any form of treatment four weeks before the trial starts, hence my break.

So, I came down to Houston with my parents to have scans and start the trial last week.  I had a feeling my scans might not be showing improvement because I have been having new pain in my chest and leg that had intensified over the break.  I was right.  The scans showed increased tumor in my left leg near the femur bone as well as mets near my adrenal glands, small bowel and upper chest.  This of course, was not good news. But my brain scans showed no progression or growth of the tumors/lesions there.  This was good news and has allowed me to start the drug trial. We have been hoping to be a part of this drug trial for a very long time now, so this was definitely good news.

I started the trial last week. Early results from other patients on the trial have been promising so I was anxious to start. It is a pill that I take three times a day and there are virtually no side effects, which is amazing when I think about the hell I have been through the last year and a half and that this little pill can have such a great results with no pain and suffering.

I fly back to Cincinnati in the morning to spend Christmas with family and friends. Then I come back to Houston on the 29th for a PET scan that will hopefully show shrinkage of my tumors.  So this Christmas I am asking Santa for shrinkage.  This may not be what every man asks for at Christmas time, but Santa, I WANT SHRINKAGE!! (That was a joke, you may laugh.)

I wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday!

-Andy

Posted by andy in His Own Words