Sunday, October 13, 2013

Seeking out the next step

Madeleine’s Blog

October 13, 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

This has been a hard week for us as things have shifted a bit, and Madeleine is having to deal with pain and daily fevers associated with the cancer. In the midst of this, we have been looking to find the best way to proceed in this ongoing battle. 

While we were at NIH, they recommended that we try a different angle of therapy for Madeleine, one which involves using some newer clinical trial drugs that are targeted at stopping the chain reaction involved in the growth of melanoma. These types of clinical trials are typically hard to find for someone whose melanoma tests "Braf negative" as Madeleine's does, so we are very fortunate that a trial for her melanoma type just opened in late September at UCSF.

Madeleine has spent the past week doing pre-trial testing, consulting with the melanoma specialist at UCSF, and also meeting with our local oncologist here in Santa Rosa.
"Never give up hope"
(Honestly, sometimes at UCSF it can seem a little rushed and impersonal, which makes it hard to come to a good decision - even though UCSF is also a source for some of the best treatment available for melanoma.) 

We are so grateful that Madeleine's local oncologist was able to make space to see her on Thursday, so that we could talk over the treatment decision with him and also get some help understanding how to deal with some of the pain and fevers that Madeleine has been experiencing during this past week or so. All of her doctors agree that the pain is from the growth of the liver and spleen tumors, and that the daily fevers are also a side effect of that growth as well. She is now on medication to help deal with the pain and fever.

On Thursday, if all goes as planned at her UCSF appointment, Madeleine will begin taking the two clinical trial drugs that are designed to help her as she continues this fight. She is definitely determined to keep fighting, and so appreciates all the encouragement she has received. She will need another biopsy around a week after she begins the treatment, and then will have scans in eight weeks to evaluate. 

Please continue to pray for Madeleine --- for her healing, for freedom from pain, and for strength for her and her family during this time. Thank you, everyone.


Lucy said...

Love your pumpkin. Glad you can be treated at near home. Keep up the fight!

Dave Cindy said...

We had a great time tonight hanging out with you!! We always enjoy our Movie Nights I didn't even nod off once!!

We love you our Sweet Girl XOXOXO

Auntie Leslie said...

Thinking of you everyday...multiple times during the day and always sending positive energy your way! We pray for pain free days and that this new trial will kick this cancer!
Wish we were closer...WE ALL LOVE YOU!
A zillion HUGS to you!

kelly said...

Praying for Madeleine and for all of you daily. May God fill you with peace.