Thursday, January 10, 2008

All About Chad

I've been tossing info about Chad's progress into other posts, just here & there. I figure it's time he get his own post.

The main question we get is: When are you starting treatment?
Chad has not started treatment. In fact, we have a pretty vague treatment plan right now - but we don't even know when we'll start it. Why? Well, we're in the information-gathering stage. Still. I know, I know. It seems to be taking forever. But we want to be sure we know all of the options available to us. There are definitely many factors to consider, and the more we think we know, the more questions arise.

I'll share what we know right now.

1) His tumor has been growing for a long time - probably about 10 years. Everyone has astrocytes & oligodendrocytes in their brain matter. They're just cells that make up the intricate system that supports & nourishes the brain -- but for some people, they go bad, and grow abnormally.

2) We will be doing a combination of radiation and chemotherapy. Chad actually has Temodar, the chemo pill he will take. He will not start taking it until we fully investigate any clinical trials he may qualify for.

3) We're looking into clinical trials - at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem & at Duke.
We met with one doctor in Winston-Salem yesterday, and will meet with two others next Monday. We don't have an appointment yet with Duke, but we're on our way.

Chad hasn't been qualified for any trials yet...but then again, we just started this endeavor. It could take a while for us to fully investigate everything readily available to us. He may not even qualify for anything; and when/if we're told that, then we'll jump right into chemo & radiation.

No one hates all of this waiting more that us, and our families. It would be nice to get started with treatment. We just want options. If you know Chad, you know he's very thorough. He's going to explore different doctors, their opinions, and then we'll decide what is best for him and our family.
We've been told that waiting a bit, even two more months, will not make a difference with his treatment.

There is so much information out there for us - and we want it all. We've been taking it all in, and discussing the risks & benefits of each. We want to share this with you all, but we just don't know everything yet. In the interest of keeping it simple, I promise we'll give you our game plan as soon as Chad decides.
Tentatively, we have an appointment with the medical oncologist on January 16 (next Wednesday) to discuss all of our options and get our plan down on paper. We've yet to talk to Dr. Freidman at Duke though, so it's a real possibility that we will push this meeting back another week or so. We just don't know yet.

We continue to be amazed at everyone's generosity and support.


Nikki & Matt said...

Thanks for the update...Chad will know what's best for all of you. We're praying for you guys!


Sip said...

i think you guys are smart, and are doing the right thing. while i am sure it is incredibly hard, just stay focused and patient and the answers will come!