Friday, October 4, 2013

Hard news - but still fighting

Madeleine’s Blog

October 4, 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

We received some difficult scan results at the end of the day yesterday. Madeleine's existing tumors have grown slightly, and there are two new tumors growing in her liver. 

As you would imagine, this news hit us like a ton of bricks, especially as we had all been really hopeful about this particular treatment. (We are familiar with several other metastatic melanoma patients for whom this treatment has been successful - some of them for several years now - but unfortunately, it was just not to be in our situation.)

Aboard the NIH shuttle
Madeleine was disappointed (and frustrated), but she also has an amazing ability to rebound, and a lot of determination to keep fighting. She and her mom went out tonight to relax and enjoy some dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. 

Tomorrow, they will fly back home and continue the hunt for a new treatment that will be a good match for Madeleine's situation (progress has already been made in that direction - more on that in an upcoming post).

We are actually very fortunate that there are several new treatments that have become available just in the past few years - for so long there were very few viable treatments available for metastatic melanoma patients.

Because of the scan results, our time at NIH has come to a close (as they believe it is in Madeleine's best interest to move on to something else). We have been treated well here, and even though it doesn't appear that the TIL therapy itself has worked, we are thankful that we were able to have the opportunity - especially as we hear on the news that NIH is unable to accept new patients right now because of the government shut down (!). We are also thankful that as a part of her TIL treatment, the doctors here removed that softball-sized tumor from Madeleine's liver, which continues to be an on-going benefit.

Thank you everyone for your continued prayers, support, and encouragement - especially as we look toward the next phase of this battle.


Dave & Cindy said...

This has been a very emotional few days not getting the results we hoped for......There is no way this Cancer is going to dull our positive attitude and with the Amazing strength and Will you have Madeleine You got this!!!! So excited to see You tomorrow !!!! Big Hugs😘

Stacey said...

If I had to choose the trait for which I am most proud of you (and there are many), it is that strength of spirit which is in evidence at this moment. Time and time again, when you get knocked on your backside by a wallop that would knock out the toughest among us, you struggle to your feet and re-engage with a fierce energy and determination that is something to see. In that, you remind me of your Grandma...and of mine...and of the long line of strong and feisty women with whom we both share blood. The zest for life within you is truly an inspiration to us all. I want you to know that any way I can be helpful to you, I will be, and any decision you make around the convergence of these difficult paths will have my wholehearted support. You make me very proud to name you as family, young Cousin.

Auntie Leslie said...

Stay STRONG as I know you always do! So many of my dear Minnesota friends ask about you constantly. The prayers will continue to come your way from each of them <3

We all love you and know that God is with you every step of the way.

A million HUGS!