Tuesday April 24th, Mixed Feelings

Today was a rough day at St. Jude.  Ingram did great in his test radiation run, although there are no longer any effective tricks to keep him from noticing incoming needles.  Apparently he is a fast learner.  Today was rough because our main doctor was notably more concerned about Ingram's prognosis.  Ashley and I have been weighing our treatment options for the past week.  The protocol for treating anaplastic ependymomas is less defined than for some other types of cancer, and there is some element of choice as to how we treat it.  Radiation is a must but chemotherapy is optional, having not proven to be effective in treating ependymomas.  However, St. Jude is in the middle of a study comparing patient results who are treated with chemotherapy and radiation and those just treated with radiation.  So there is obviously some debate as to the efficacy of adding chemotherapy to the radiation.  We were torn but had come to have a peace with either treatment route.  After looking at the molecular structure of Ingram's tumor for the third time this morning, and talking further with the radiologist, our doctor recommended abandoning the protocol and throwing everything at it that we can.  Apparently, the tumor has characteristics that indicate it is more aggressive than we initially had hoped.  That news was discouraging.  So our treatment route is now determined and will include six-and-a-half weeks of focalized radiation and four months of chemotherapy.  Days like today make it abundantly obvious that even in the midst of the best doctors in the world, our hope is in God.  Please pray that God would do His work in and through Ingram.  Please ask that He will heal his body.

On a different note, St. Jude is an absolutely wonderful place.  The collection of talent they have assembled in Memphis, Tennessee is overwhelming.  We have had doctors at every step in this process who are considered the best in the world in their respective fields.  That allows us to rest knowing that we cannot find a more informed opinion elsewhere, freeing us to take care of Ingram and our daughters.  As a father, I cannot tell you how significant that is.    

You can't trick me; I'm not smelling that mask!

Happy 10th Birthday Madison!

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there, friends. You're doing a great job. We're all praying for you and for little Ingram. :-) Keep smiling,
    Love & Matt Zubiller