Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Todays Chemo Treatment (9/28/10)

Now that I am all caught up I can give you the great news I have gotten this morning!

My dad gained blood all on his own! His count went from about a 9.2 to a 10.3 in one week's time with no transfusions! This is a great sign!!! This is most likely the most blood he's had in quiet some time.

We are so thankful that we tested positive for the Herceptin drug and that he can receive it again today! We have heard great things about this drug!

I actually just got a call from my dad about 15 minutes ago and we talked just like normal even though he is receiving chemo! It is great to know that besides being a bit uncomfortable, he isn't in a great deal of pain. We are just "zapping" those cancer cells out of there, he will always say!

Still no nausea, tingling fingers, etc as side effects from the chemo. He is starting to lose his hair a little bit, but we will take a minor appearance flaw over physical sickness anyday! We thank god that this is his only symptom!!

I hope I keep having good news!!! We are so blessed!

*Chemo is Monday of next week instead of Tuesday.

Second Opinions

We are currently working with AMC and Dr. Gunther who is a phenomenal oncologist. He has a great educational background and is into all of the latest procedures and treatments.

We did get a second opinion at Froedtert in Milwaukee. We saw Dr. Thomas. He was also a phenomenal oncologist who has had lots of experience at the Medical school in Madison and experimental treatment. He agreed with the treatment plan completely that we were already on with Dr. Gunther and said he had no further options for us until we get scans to see how the chemo is working. We will continue to work with these doctors as well as get more information from other places to see what is available.

A few updates about chemo and past treatments

Today my dad had his 4th treatment of Chemo. To catch you up a bit about the past:

*My dad was tested for a drug called Herceptin, he had a 15% chance that he would test positive for Her2New cells in his tumors; if he tested positive he could receive the drug Herceptin along with his chemo.


*He has had one dose of Herceptin and is receiving the second dose today.

*He receives Carboplatin and Taxol for his chemo combination and goes once a week.

*My mom goes with him each week, usually Chemo is on Tuesdays and they are there from 9:00am-5:30-6ishpm. It takes this long to get blood tests and distribute the chemo and Herceptin. He also receives iron, Benadryl, and non-nausea medicine through IV. At first he had trouble with the "jimmy" legs but now that is better and he usually sleeps.

*In the past he has been EXTREMELY low on blood, he of course, being the tough guy he is says he can't tell the difference, but he has had to get transfusions before chemo could be started. In this case chemo is pushed back a day. He has gotten two transfusions so far, but last week he didn't drop much so he didn't need a transfusion. Also, last week he GAINED three pounds, first time that he didn't have a loss.

*They will continue to do chemo until he can't handle it anymore or until it stops working. They will scan in one month to see if the tumors are shrinking.

* So far, he has had no side effects to chemo!! WOO HOO!!

For Starters...

Well, if you are on this web page you must be interested in my dad, Jim (Morgan) Peterson's fight against Esophageal Cancer. I thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and special intentions for my dad for we need all of the prayers we can get. For everyone who knows my dad, you know I am not lying when I say he is an incredible fighter. He is the strongest man I know along with the best dad, and most caring person ever. Everyone knows he would do anything for anyone and he LOVES to make kids happy!

We learned of my dad's cancer on August 26, 2010 but weren't sure how bad it was until Thursday August 29, 2010. My dad was diagnosed with Esophageal cancer, Stage 4 with Liver tumors and Lymph node metastasizes ( which basically means it spread from the initial location of the esophagus). Some good news is that it is not in his lungs, neck, groin, or bones. They gave us some scary statistics at first but I am not even going to include them because "statistics mean nothing to people who believe." I am going to say that there have been survivors and we trust in god's miracles.

Coming into all of this we had no clue what any of this terminology and diagnosis meant; we did know it was very bad and it scared us all to death. I took it into my own hands to research like crazy, I know more about Esophageal cancer than I ever imagined I would. My mom has been researching like crazy and my brother has been doing a great job of keeping an eye on my dad at work and helping out with the business on chemo days. We are blessed to have a strong bonded family and we can all count on one another to be there. We have a great extended family on both the Schuh side and Peterson side who have done amazing things for us. I can't even begin to describe the number of friends who have cooked for us, done extra things for the business, sent cards, prayers, etc. We are so blessed and we appreciate everyone.

Tuesday is our Chemo day. I will update now on, on every Tuesday or chemo day. So far we have gotten the best news we can possibly ask for. We thank god for the wonderful gifts and endless strength he has given us at this time in our lives. We have always been in touch with god and our church but we feel his presence more than ever now.