June 8, 2013
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
Madeleine's brain MRI was rescheduled to yesterday, and we got the news today: All clear!! Having a clear scan is always such a relief, so we are especially grateful for this.
What's next? Madeleine is scheduled to fly out to Maryland to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a consultation on Tuesday, June 18th with the melanoma specialist there. We are going there to see if she can be accepted for TIL (tumor infiltrating lymphocyte) therapy, also known as Adoptive Cell Therapy.
The NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, is actually the nation’s largest hospital devoted entirely to clinical research, and NIH researchers have pioneered this therapy, which has been around for several years.
With TIL therapy, surgeons remove one or more of your melanoma tumors, and then you are sent home for several weeks. Meanwhile, in the laboratory, the scientists work to separate out your own cells (lymphocytes) that are inside the tumor attempting to fight the cancer. Those cells are then grown, multiplied (until there are billions of them), and tested in the laboratory. Then, you go back to the hospital, undergo chemotherapy and other treatment, and your own concentrated, tumor-fighting cells are reintroduced. It is a pretty rigorous treatment, but they have been having good results with it.
As always, we would really appreciate your prayers for wisdom and guidance as we make these decisions, and for Madeleine's healing. Thank you, everyone.