Sunday, June 30, 2013

Post-Therapy Update

Hello prayer warriors!

Please keep up your earnest efforts in lifting Patrick & Emily up to the Lord.

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On June 13th, Patrick had a repeat PET scan to view his tumor's "activity" after completing oral chemotherapy and radiation.  Once the scan was reviewed, Patrick's medical oncologist. Dr. Wolf, gave him the good news that the tumor has certainly shrunk.  He said that based upon Patrick's symptoms and the measurements obtained by the PET scan, things were "looking good."  This is a rather 'crude' quantitative marker ... but the tumor's original "number" on the PET scan was 14.2.  It's current "number" is 8.1.  Although Patrick & Emily do not know what these numbers represent, no one can argue that they show the tumor's response to therapy!  Additionally, the "questionable spots" on Patrick's liver and lungs did NOT respond to the cancer treatment.  That is wonderful and critical news as it means that they are most likely NOT related.  This means that Patrick's cancer is more definitively Stage 3 instead of Stage 4.  Praise God!

Patrick & Emily left Dr. Wolf's office feeling positive and had a great time celebrating their 5th wedding anniversary together.

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On June 24th, the Shaws traveled down to UVA to meet with Dr. Friel, Patrick's surgical oncologist who will perform the upcoming tumor removal surgery.  Unfortunately, his view was not as optimistic.  Although he agrees that Patrick's tumor has significantly shrunk in size, its location is still of utmost concern.  Patrick's rectal tumor is still very, very low in the rectum.  Therefore, Dr. Friel fears that once he removes the tumor, he will not have any healthy rectal tissue to "reconnect the pipes" so to speak.  Therefore, barring a miracle, Dr. Friel feels certain that Patrick will require a permanent colostomy.  Furthermore, due to the invasiveness of the tumor through the rectal wall, Dr. Friel discussed with Patrick & Emily that removing Patrick's bladder and prostate may still be necessary to ensure all cancerous tissue is removed from the body.  The necessity of this will not truly be known until Patrick is physically undergoing surgery.  Dr. Friel wants to prepare the Shaws for the worst case scenario, but remain hopeful for the best.

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Patrick's operation is scheduled for August 16th, 2013.  

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Want to pray specifically?

1.  Pray for a miracle within Patrick's body.
2.  Pray for both Patrick & Emily's acceptance and peace about the possible changes ahead.
3.  Pray that Dr. Friel is able to rid Patrick's body of cancer without removing the bladder or prostate.

~  Remember, God is good, ALL the time!

Keep praying!

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