Friday, June 28, 2013

Heading to NIH - for liver surgery

Madeleine’s Blog

June 28, 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
Isaiah 41:10

Enjoying the time between treatments
Madeleine has now been accepted for one of the adoptive cell therapy (TIL) trials at the National Institutes of Health. At first, the consultation with NIH seemed like it was taking a long time...needing more information, additional scans, and testing on a previous biopsy. But now, the decision has been made, and treatment plans are moving fast!!

Madeleine will fly out to NIH on Monday, and is scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday to remove the entire tumor from her liver. This is a major surgery, but frankly, she will be glad to see the tumor go! It will then take almost a week of recovery until she flies back home.

This therapy is done in a few phases. The first part is removing one of your melanoma tumors (in Madeleine's case, her liver tumor). Right after the surgery, the doctors take your tumor and start the process of finding and growing your own cancer-fighting T-cells that are already present inside the tumor (but are outnumbered). Then they take those cells and grow them until there are billions of them, which will enable the cells to have a much better chance of fighting off your melanoma. This "growing" process takes 4-6 weeks and is very intensive and specialized - but they are now able to grow these cells with over 90% of patients.  

At Tahoe in June with friends, Dave and Cindy
Once you are recovered from surgery and your cells are ready, you go back to NIH for the next part of the treatment. That's when you undergo chemotherapy and other treatment (to prepare your body so that it doesn't shut down your new cells), and doctors give you back your own tumor-fighting cells, which are unleashed to fight your melanoma. 
We are really grateful that Madeleine has been accepted to begin this specialized treatment. Please pray for her as she goes through this surgery and recovery, and as she prepares for the next part of her treatment.


Dave Cindy said...

It was so awesome to be together in Tahoe! We are praying like crazy! We love you with all our heart! 💜💙💗💕

Holly said...

Thinking of you all today at NIH!