Showing posts from August, 2018

28th August, 2018

Follow-up today. We first met with Nick's radiation oncologist, Dr. Ahmad, who was quite pleased with Nick's response to treatment. The tumours in Nick's brain seemed to have been destroyed or at least deactivated, and Nick's neurological symptoms have abated. Nick's dyslexia, most likely due to the anti-seizure medications, is gradually improving. We then met up with the inimitable Dr. Potvin, who laid out a treatment plan for the school year. A recent CT scan shows that, while many of the larger lung tumours have shrunk considerably since he started treatment in February, there are about five new tumours active now. Fortunately, they're small (< 2 cm) and peripheral, and so are not directly menacing Nick's airways or major blood vessels. Nonetheless, Nick's coughing more frequently now, and so treatment has been ordered to start on Thursday. He'll receive treatment every 3 weeks in London (with one additional shot 8 days later). This should k

11th August 2018

Today we welcomed little Douglas the St Bernard to our home. We captured the meeting with Nick and Alex on video: Douglas 1 Douglas 2 Douglas 3 Naturally, Nick and Alex are hoping he'll be the ring-bearer at their wedding (down the road a bit).

August 10th, 2018

Nick's getting his last radiation treatment now, and has just finished up with Dr. Potvin. We discussed a lot of things, but the most important points are these: 1. She's still waiting results from the tissue sequencing. If this reveals a "useful" driver mutation, then Nick may be eligible to receive a targeted therapy. 2. Regardless, there's some chance that the current active cancer has only been in the brain (but not the thorax) , and tumour markers may then normalize after radiation. 3. A thoracic CT scan will be ordered soon, just to see if the lungs are indeed clear. 4. Dr. Rouzada (hematologist) is being consulted for advice on the blood clot situation, since Nick had to go off Fragmin. Maybe an oral blood thinner will be prescribed.  5. There are a few "regular" chemo options that Nick can get if needed: the best one is given in hospital in one shot, over 12 hours. They'd do it when Nick comes home on the weekend. It's minimally

3rd August, 2018

Nick's radiation treatments, originally scheduled for a week today, have been re-scheduled to start today. We expressed concern to Nick's doctors (through a slew of emails and phone messages) that undue delay in beginning radiotherapy could allow the cancer in the brain to spread beyond the margins of the targeted sites, thus rendering the radiation plan obsolete. As well, cancer could very well remain (and be growing) in the lungs or elsewhere; a delay in radiotherapy would result in a delay in chemotherapy to control this cancer. This is essentially what happened last time radiation was delayed, and this time the doctors concurred that time is of the essence here. God help anyone who enters our medical system without a strong advocate! Ultimately, the plan is still to have Nick attend school in the fall. Right now, he's on some pretty heavy anticonvulsant medication to ward off further seizures, at least until the offending lesions are burned out of his brain. Nick'