November 20, 2012
So do not fear, for I am with you
Do not be dismayed, for I am your God
I will strengthen you and help you
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
One thing about this diagnosis is true: It really does give you an enhanced appreciation for the joys of life. Enjoying family, friends, snow, the freedom to travel, the joy of feeling good again - all of these things have been a part of her life during these past weeks.
Madeleine had her PET scan on November 9th, and then took off for the cabin at Mt. Lassen that afternoon. Up at Lassen, she enjoyed hiking through the snow searching for the "perfect" Christmas tree to bring home (an annual tradition), and she had lots of fun with extended family and her younger cousins.
Shortly after coming home from Lassen, Madeleine took off on a road trip to see several of her friends who have gone away to college. She drove down to Southern California, taking the 101 freeway to enjoy the coastline, and stopping along the way to see friends as she went. She had fun dressing up and going to the "Marine Ball" with Austin, and then she spent two days at Disneyland going on all her favorite rides.
|With Austin at the Marine Ball|
The next day (yesterday), we went down to UCSF and met with the melanoma specialist there to see what options are available for the next stage of her treatment. There were several options discussed, and one involved the possibility of getting a spot in a clinical trial that has been shown to be very promising. (This is actually better than it may sound like at first because so many advances are being made in melanoma treatment right now, and sometimes the best treatment medications are still making their way through the clinical trial process, which can take several years.) The other option is something called Yervoy, which has also shown good results. So, we are in the process of getting Madeleine's complete records to UCSF to see if she would qualify to be placed in the trial. No matter which treatment she decides on, it looks like the next course of treatment will be a few weeks off at least. The clinical trial (if approved) would be done at UCSF and the side effects appear to be milder than some of the other options available.
We would appreciate your prayers that the best treatment option for Madeleine would be revealed (whether it is the trial drug or something else), and that she would be protected and healed from this cancer. Thank you everyone for your concern and support.