Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Another Stable Scan!!!

Last week Jen had her latest MRI and the scan was again stable!  This now marks almost 18 months since diagnosis and 17 months of stable scans.

I apologize for the late posting and the lack of activity on the blog in the last 6 weeks.  I will try and be better about my posting.

Jen continues to do well, though she does say that she feels increased memory and cognitive difficulties - could be do to the radiation.  She stays active and we even managed to get in a 2 mile hike about a week ago.  We are considering trying a vaccine drug to target a specific protein present in Jen's cancer cells.  I will post more specifics if we decide to and are able to pursue this treatment option.

Jen and I attended a great presentation on the latest developments in Immunotherapy for targeting cancer.  These approaches have proved very effective against certain types of cancer such as Melanoma, but they are still trying to attain higher success rates.  Unfortunately they have been less successful with primary brain cancers, but many are presently in clinical trials.  I have mentioned before the difficulties in treating brain cancers due to the body's own defense mechanism - The Blood Brain Barrier.  This makes delivering effective treatments to the brain particularly challenging.  Let's hope there are some good results from the current clinical trials underway.

At the urging of a fellow caregiver I met at UCLA, I attended a support group for caregivers of people with Brain Tumors.  Not sure I will be returning anytime soon.  I was hoping for a forum to be able to exchange info related to everything from treatment, legal and financial options.  Instead it was largely a place for people to be able to vent.  I've got to say it was one of the more depressing things I have ever done as I listened to more than one person talk about how they have come to hate their spouse and would like for them to just die.  I realize where this disease can lead to and Jen and I have been relatively fortunate so far, but I can't imagine ever feeling this way about Jen.  Fortunately not all the caregivers felt the same way either, but there definitely are challenges unique to brain cancer.  You have all the normal cancer issues compounded with issues similar to traumatic brain injury and degenerative brain diseases.  I am glad I went though as I met a woman whose husband was just diagnosed a couple of months ago.  She and I have been in communication and we have been sharing info and I have been helping her to navigate some of the treatment options available.  Her and her husband are also pursuing a Keto diet as well as the Novocure.

On March 11 & 12 Jen and I will be again going to UCLA's annual brain tumor conference.  This is free and we welcome anyone in the LA area who is available on either day to join us.  If interested in attending with us, please let us know.  This was a great learning and inspirational experience last year and I am sure this year will be no different.  For more info please check out the following link: