JoLynne and I just returned from Mayo. Unfortunately they didn't give us the news that we were hoping for.
The bad news is this, the cancer is back, probably three tumors, all in the original surgical bed but fairly large. The surgeon felt like the situation was inoperable due to the number and size of the tumors and their proximity to vital structures. The other bad news is that there are really only four mainline chemotheraputic drugs used for this type of cancer and they have used all of them on me and none have proven to be effective. Radiation is less often used but we tried that as well and it was also ineffective.
The good news is that it hasn't spread to my lungs or brain. In the oncologists words "I still consider you curable". The Oncologist at Mayo has had some success with a few other drugs that are normally used for lung cancer or pancreatic cancer and he would like to start me on those. Also, he is one of the few doctors in the country doing something called tumor gene mapping. Essentially they take your tumor and analyze it's DNA looking for vulnerable areas that can be attacked. The group doing the analysis is out of Harvard. They are very successful at finding vulnerable areas but the number of drugs developed to attack those vulnerable areas is still quite small. If we are lucky my tumor will present with one or more vulnerable areas that we have drugs designed for. They will start that analysis this next week. I'm not sure but I will probably start chemotherapy again next week as well. I meet with my doctor here on Tuesday.
I guess the best news is that we still have faith that God can work a miracle in my case. I have to admit, I was quite despondent at first but as the days have gone by I find hope pushing out fear. I honestly don't know what God's plan is for me but I trust Him! I hope that I am allowed to stay and be with JoLynne and my children for years to come and I still believe that is possible. We went to the temple today with our kids. Those same feelings came to both of us again.
We are going to fast as a family tomorrow. If any of you would like to join us we would very much appreciate that. Our prayers are that the new chemotherapy will be effective, that the genetic mapping will find a vulnerable area in the tumor that has a drug developed or that God works his miracle however He sees fit. Ultimately His plan will unfold for me and we will follow in faith like we always have.
We love and appreciate each of you. Thank you for you tender concern for me and for our family,