Update from MDA

May 2nd, 2010

Everyone,

I wish I was writing with better news. If you have not heard already, this will be news to you.  Last week, I came back down to Houston for my nine week scans after starting the BRAF-GSK clinical trial drug. As you know, I had a very good response to this drug. Well, after my round of scans it turns out that this miracle drug has stopped working for me and the cancer has returned and it is the worst it has ever been.

I was immediately taken off the drug trial. Mainly because of the rapid increase to my brain mets. My left leg is also in bad shape and I must take a ton of pain meds and use a wheelchair to get around, due to the pain. I am also on steroids to control the swelling in my brain and to help with constant headaches.

The next course of action was to have Gamma Knife Brain Surgery/Radiaion.  This is a very precise way of targeting tumors in the brain, but was a very uncomfortable procedure, requiring the surgeon to secure a halo to my head, by drilling.

Then more bad news. The docs did a brain MRI just before the Gamma Knife procedure and discovered that in the 10 day period between scans, my brain tumors/lesions had multiplied to about 40, including a couple large ones.

The current course of action is to again have whole brain radiation and a chemo regime, as I did in November. The hope is that will reduce the brain mets. I may have a serious brain surgery to remove the larger tumors as well.

We hope to get the brain under control and again start a trial that will treat my entire body.

I cant pretend that this news was not shocking or devastating, after doing so well for 4 months on the drug trial. But as always, I, with the awesome support from my family and friends, am determined to fight this.

Love,
Andy

Posted by andy in His Own Words