Thursday, May 8, 2008

New Blog

This is my first post in a blog of any sort and I feel ridiculously self-conscious about it! I doubt that anyone but me will ever see it, but I'm told writing about the cancer experience can be helpful.

As I mentioned in my (too lengthy) introduction, I have been in a clinical trial using Sutent to treat my metastasized thyroid cancer since April 24, 2007.

I still don't understand how lymph node and other materials can turn into thyroid material, but that's what has happened to me. Currently, I have tumors in my neck, chest, abdomen, and lungs. Because of that, they are considered inoperable.

Most thryoid material is "iodine-hungry": That is, it absorbs iodine and the radioactive material that may be in it. That's why the standard treatment for thyroid cancer is to surgically remove the thyroid and then take a dose of radioactive iodine. This radioactive iodine is drawn to any remaining thyroid material and kills it. (I may write about that experience some other time.)

I had surgery first in November, 1999, followed by radiation ablation in January, 2000. Scans showed we got all the cancer then and I was fine for almost 7 years.

I found a mass in my neck in late November, 2006. It was biopsied and found to be a lymph node that had turned to thyroid material and was cancerous. It was surgically removed in December, 2006, and I had any dose of radioactive iodine in January, 2007.

Follow-up scans showed that the radiation ablation did not get all the cancer. Biopsies of the tumors in my lung showed they were radiation resistance.

Since there is no treatment for this cancer, we started searching for a clinical trial. We were fortunate enough to find one at the David C. Pratt Cancer Center in St. Louis, MO. I was accepted into the trial and have been taking Sutent since April 24, 2007.

Since that time, I have had no new tumors and have actually had some shrinkage in the existing tumors. I am profoundly thankful to the Lord and to medical science for this.

But I think that's enough for today. When will I write again? I don't know - I guess when I have something to say! ;-)

1 comment:

Lincoln said...

Interesting, john1960. Is Sutent a cure?