Nick and I went to Birmingham for another checkup and IVIG today. A huge praise is that, with the mega dose of IVIG Nick received 4 weeks ago, his IGG level today is 572! It has not been that high in months and months. Nick received another large dose of IVIG today.
Since the visit 4 weeks ago, Nick has been dealing with a few issues that concerned me. When we met with the oncologist this morning, I talked with him about Nick's issues. Nick has had weight loss (22 lbs since October), loss of appetite, intermittent low grade fevers at night, and fatigue. These are all symptoms that the oncologist has been watching for, because they are indicators that the cancer has become active.
During the physical exam, the doctor found that Nick's spleen has become enlarged. This is also another indication of the cancer becoming active and possibly spreading. After we talked about everything and the doctor talked to Nick about how he's been feeling, the doctor decided that the time has come for action.
Nick and I will be returning to Birmingham next week on Thursday, Jan 6, 2011 for CT scans and chemotherapy. The CT scans will be a base line scan to measure the mass in the abdomen and look for any new places that the cancer might be located. These scans will be used to determine how well the chemo is working. I will know more next week on the details of how long and how often the treatments will be.
Nick doesn't really want to take chemo again, and I don't blame him. He is going to go forward and take the treatments though. The doctor explained to Nick that the chemo should help him feel better again and hopefully will be that way for a while. The doctor also reassured Nick that this chemo won't be anything like what Keith experienced. I didn't realize, until that moment, that Nick might be having some fears about that. It has shown me, once again, exactly how much I like Nick's oncologist. He's been Nick's doctor for this 15 year battle against cancer. Yes, it has been that long.
The chemo that Nick will be getting is the same chemo that he got 4 1/2 years ago. It's a mild regimen of chemo compared to a lot of the drugs. The doctor will have to take it slow with one chemo, because of the way it attacks the immune system. The other chemo drugs can cause nausea, hair loss, low blood cell counts, and kidney dysfunction.
There will also be medications brought on board to help counter the side effects: Zofran for nausea, Bactrim to protect against bacterial infections, and probably others yet to be named.
Today, we came home with 21 days of antibiotics to (hopefully) clear up this sinus thing Nick has now before the chemo starts next week.
I realize this is pretty straight forward. It's the only way I can get the information written tonight. I am devastated right now. I am trying to just hold on. Kacie has taken the news really hard. She is scared and worried. Nick is sad. He really is tired of having to take chemo.
Please pray as God leads. I don't even know what to say, except I can't believe that we are here...AGAIN!