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jon4156's Recent CancerCompass Activity

  • jon4156 has created a new message board discussion

    My wife's GBM journey is heading towards an end.  We will be making a 1500 mile trip to the Florida Keys where we own a vacation home, to spend her final days.  Upon arrival hospice will be involved and we plan to spend as many days as we can watching sunrises, sunsets, and enjoying the evening air before she is taken from me. She has endured a living hell since March of this year when we skipped our way i...

    July 23 at 9:26 PM view discussion
    • jon4156 has replied to a post on the message board

      Steroids are usually used to control inflammation of the brain.

      May 26 at 2:08 PM view post
      • jon4156 has replied to a post on the message board

        Temodar is used to fight cancer cells.  It wouldn't make sense to use it for necrosis since those cells are already dead.  I cannot find any evidence that Temodar is used to treat inflammation or that it causes inflammation.

        May 25 at 4:54 PM view post
        • jon4156 has replied to a post on the message board

          Bringing a notebook is a good idea.  Write down questions when they come to you so you can ask at your next appointment.  Write down info the doctor tells you so you don't forget it later on. Be polite, respectful, but assertive with the doctor.  If you don't understand something just say, I don't understand please repeat that.  Or literally ask them to speak in "plain language" so you can unders...

          May 20 at 10:37 AM view post
          • jon4156 has replied to a post on the message board

            The only clinical study performed to determine the maximum duration of effectiveness for Temodar lost funding six months into the trial.  So six months became the defacto standard for maximum use of Temodar.  For the most part there is very little gray in medical science.  It is primarily black and white.  If there is no acceptable study showing that Temodar works any better if it is taken for 12 ...

            May 18 at 3:52 AM view post
            • jon4156 has created a new message board discussion

              Just gave my wife her 2nd cycle of Temodar for this recurrence.  I call it 2.2, 2nd GBM, 2nd cycle of Temodar. A CT scan Monday (12th) confirmed a large mass in her liver.  NO and radiologist are not sure if it's metastasis from the GBM (very rare) or a liver specific cancer.  She'll have a biopsy Monday (19th) to determine the source. NO says he has only seen two cases of GBM metastasis in his caree...

              May 16 at 1:56 AM view discussion
              • jon4156 has replied to a post on the message board

                I'm sorry to hear this news about your son.  If temodar failed and Avastin is not an option then the options are very limited.  Whether to install a shunt will be a tough call.  If he doesn't you may find that the additional fluid in his head causes disabilities and headaches that would otherwise be avoided.  However the risks, such as infection as someone else mentioned, would result in requireme...

                May 16 at 1:31 AM view post
                • jon4156 has replied to a post on the message board

                  Well today's doctor visit did not go as well as we hoped. My wife had a CT scan for the liver lesion that was found a month ago when she had a pulmonary embolism. Today's scan determined THAT lesion was nothing, but it also found a new large lesion (about a third of the liver) that is not on the surface but interior of the liver and is very suspicious. She'll need a biopsy, probably in a week or so. Chemo for the bra...

                  May 12 at 9:22 PM view post
                  • jon4156 has replied to a post on the message board

                    Can't complain about that...Dana-Farber gets two thumbs up and Dr. Wen is very well known.  PMC raised $38.8 million last year and spent $37 million on research, plus spent $0 dollars on salaries and benefits.  That's more than a 95% performance factor!  Thanks for selecting a charity that is a real performer!

                    May 09 at 5:37 PM view post
                    • jon4156 has replied to a post on the message board

                      The one thing missing from the report is quality-of-life at three and four years of survival. 

                      May 09 at 4:07 PM view post
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                      About jon4156

                      Caregiver
                      Brain Cancer
                      Cancer Treatments, Chemotherapy, Conventional Treatments, Radiation

                      My wife (age 48) was diagnosed March 21, 2011 with GBM-4 in the right temporal lobe after suffering a week of severe headaches, nausea, fatigue, and general confusion. She went to her doctor on March 17 complaining about her symptoms and the doctor assessed it as a viral infection. Symptoms remained on March 21 and she could barely function so I made another appointment early that morning and saw a different doctor. He took one look at her, asked a few questions, and said "this is no viral infection" then told me to bring her to hospital emergency room immediately. MRI and CAT scans showed presence of tumor and she was transported to a Tier 3 hospital. She spent one week in ICU to get her brain swelling under control and had a craniotomy/resection on March 28, 2011. Almost all of the tumor was successfully removed. The only side-effect of surgery was some light weakness on left side, particularly left arm and hand. Released from hospital and entered rehabilitation on April 1, 2011. One week of rehabilitation returned most of her functionality lost to surgery. Released from rehabilitation on April 8, 2011.

                      We were offered an Avastin clinical trial for newly diagnosed tumors. What to do?? Performed LOTS of research and read MANY medical journals and trial results. Got "second" opinions from three highly rated doctors in three different hospitals. We declined the Avastin trial at this time due to potential side effects with the drug and the fact it would exclude her from the Novo-Cure trial after radiation was complete. We opted for standard treatment (radiation and temodar) with the intent of participating in the Novo-Cure clinical trial afterwards.

                      She finished radiation and Temodar on June 14 with no major side-effects. She experienced fatigue, hair-loss, loss of appetite (nothing tasted good anymore) and occasional nausea. Zofran easily controlled the nausea. She was anti-red-meat for about 8 years prior to her diagnosis but post-surgery found cheese-burgers being one of the only things she found pleasant to eat (yeah mcdonalds!).

                      June 27, 2011. She returned to work and is currently doing very well. Almost all food tastes good again and fatigue has passed for the most part. Still occasionally feels nausea depending upon certain food smells, but Zofran corrects this easily enough. She is glad to be back at work and feels less fatigued because she is not sitting around the house doing nothing.

                      July 13, 2011. MRI results. Images look good, no indication of recurrence.

                      July 29-Aug 2, 2011. Started adjuvant temodar (260mg) and handled it very well. A bit more fatigued than usual and also vomited two days (one time each day). The worst effect is that food not tasting good has returned. Any kind of pasta is ok, plain fish is ok, plain chicken is ok, and cheeseburgers are ok. Everything else makes her nauseous just smelling it.

                      August 25-29, 2011. Second round of adjuvant temodar (260mg) and handled it very well. Fatigued, but not as much as the previous round. Vomited only once, two days after completing the cycle. Smell and taste not affected so much this time.

                      September 22-26, 2011. Third round of adjuvant temodar (340mg) handled very well. No vomiting this month although some nausea was present. Kytril and Zofran do a good job controlling the nausea. Certain food smells will make her nauseous, but enjoying almost all foods now. Still working although her performance is reduced.

                      October 15, 2011. Labs and MRI results. Images look good and no indication of recurrence.

                      Will update this area as things progress.

                      Major Milestones
                      March 21, 2011 - Diagnosis GBM-4
                      March 28, 2011 - Craniotomy and resection
                      April 1, 2011 - Released from hospital to rehabilitation
                      April 8, 2011 - Released from rehabilitation to home
                      May 3, 2011 - Start radiation and Temodar
                      June 14, 2011 - End radiation and Temodar
                      June 27, 2011 - Return to work
                      July 13, 2011 - First post-radiation MRI. Images are clear, no tumor progression.
                      July 19, 2011 - Apply for Novo-Cure clinical trial.
                      July 20, 2011 - Denied Novo-Cure device due to randomization.
                      July 25, 2011 - Back to original oncologist. After reading the MRI he said it was the best he has ever seen in his life. All clear at this point.
                      July 29, 2011 - Adjuvant Temodar, first 5/23 cycle.
                      Aug 25, 2011 - Adjuvant Temodar second 5/23 cycle.
                      Sep 10, 2011 - MRI & MRS scans
                      Sep 15, 2011 - Labs & Checkup - MRI scans are clear and doctor says he could not be happier with the results so far.
                      Sep 22, 2011 - Adjuvant Temodar, third 5/23 cycle.
                      Oct 11, 2011 - Labs & Check up. All blood work is good. Experiencing severe pain in legs at night. Doctor thinks it might be fibromyalgia and will test for this on 10/17/2011.

                      Next milestone:
                      Oct 17, 2011 - Blood test to see if we can find source of her nightly leg pain.
                      Oct 20, 2011 - Begin fourth cycle of adjuvant Temodar (340mg).

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