After more than a year of praying for the best and preparing for the worst, we got some positive news. The power of prayer is strong. Brandon saw his surgical oncologist this morning after having a CT scan yesterday, and the doctor said Brandon is responding to chemo. The lymph nodes in his lungs that had been enlarged on the last scan had gone down in size. The volume of ascites (fluid) in his stomach caused by the cancer was less. Some of the volume of disease looked to be reduced. Some of the nodules had remained the same size. And there was some thickening of the abdominal wall, which is consistent with the disease but also consistent with the formation of scar tissue. However, none of the nodules or evidence of disease appears to have increased or grown in size. The doctor was pleasantly surprised by the response Brandon seems to be having to the chemo. Granted, they said from the very beginning the chemo most likely would not eradicate the disease, but they did hope it would stop the progression and even reduce the volume, and that’s what it seems to be doing.
This isn’t to say that Brandon is feeling any better right now because he’s still extremely fatigued and nauseous. But we feel that if we can find better ways to control those symptoms, he has a better chance of improving his quality of life. We have to find a way for him to keep more food down. The doctor suggested again that he try more protein shakes/drinks. He’s very malnourished, and he not only needs to eat more but also needs to make sure he takes in the right nutrients. The malnourishment can cause some of the same symptoms as the cancer – fatigue, weakness, compromised immune system, and so on. This is a serious challenge in itself, but hopefully one we can overcome.
He has an appointment with his medical oncologist next week just before his chemo treatment, and he will discuss the results of the scan with us again and give us his thoughts and recommendations going forward. We are so appreciative of every one of you praying for Brandon and checking in on him, and we will keep you posted!