Sunday, March 15, 2009

Next Trial Selected

My oncologist team at Karmanos has recommended another phase 1 clinical trial that I will start next week. This experimental treatment is a drug designed to unbind a specific protein common in cancerous cells. In theory this would prevent cancerous cells from replicating. The drug will be administered by IV twice a week, which will require me to be at Karmanos for approximately 3 hours. There isn't much existing data on this drug for melanoma patients, so we really don't know what to expect from this treatment. Please pray that this treatment will be effective against my cancer.

When my oncologist was determining my eligibility for this trial she found that my hemoglobin was too low (but not dangerously low). Therefore I had to get my first blood transfusion. I received 2 units of blood, which took approximately 5 hours to administer. One thing I noticed after the transfusion was my energy level had increased.

I have been struggling more with physical pain, especially in my left lung (tumor location) and left shoulder (non-tumor location). I had a couple days early in the week that my pain medication was largely ineffective. I have shared this with my doctors so they scheduled me for a pain clinic. I have never participated in one of these clinics, but from what I understand there are a number of temporary and permanent solutions available. I will see a pain specialist on Monday, who will hopefully help alleviate my pain. After over a year of pain in my left lung, I am ready for relief.

Deb will be taking a medical leave starting tomorrow to provide care for me at home. It will be nice to have her with me during the day. The kids will remain in pre-school. Morgan and Landon have finished their swim lessons and are now trying soccer at the YMCA.

Thanks to all for your continued prayers and support for my healing and family well being.



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Nate. We surely hope the new trial will be effective,and that you will be able to manage the pain. What a long road, with so many twists and turns. How hard it must be for you and Deb to keep on day after day. Our prayers are with you both. May God grant you healing and peace.
Cal and Rose Van Reken

Anonymous said...

We appreciate the update, Nate. After all the wonderful help you've had, it will be a wonderful change to have Deb around I'm sure. We will continue to pray for healing as well as your pain to diminish. I couldn't even imagine pain on a daily basis, so it is a blessing there may be a solution for that soon. We love you very much!
Nancy (and clan)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nate,
You really are a trooper. I imagine it takes everything you have to update everyone all the time, and we sure appreciate it. I know I've told you before, but in case you forget, thanks for being such a great husband to my sister and dad to the Morgan & Landon. Sally & I would love to see you more often, but know that you have had plenty of visitors over the past year. Our family (especially the kids) pray for you at each meal and at bedtime, so your name is an hourly household word in our home. What a joy to call you my brother-in-law. Hopefully this new treatment makes a difference. Just know that whatever happens, that you, Deb and the kids are loved greatly. We serve a mighty God and it is clear by your life that you look to Him all the time for strength. Thanks for being you.
Love, John (and family)

Barb & Jerry Gosse said...

Nate and Debbie,
Please know that you are in our continued prayers and thoughts for success in the new trial. We are so glad that Debbie will have this time off to spend with you, Nate. It will make such a wonderful difference in your day to day life and recovery. Take care and joy in one another.
Love, Jerry & Barb Gosse

Anonymous said...

Nate, you are in our thoughts daily as we continue to pray for you. We will be warriors for you asking that the new drug be effective in fighting this cancer and that God relieve your pain.

Marge's small group friends, Larry and Arlene.

dclundblad said...

I echo the sentiment of others who have commented. Your willingness to update us is greatly appreciated. We have recently started a men's prayer group in my office every Tuesday morning at 7 AM, and I will ask these Godly men to pray with you and your family for healing and strength.

May God's peace be your companion during these difficult days.

In His love,

Dan Lundblad

Anonymous said...

Nate, thanks again for the update. You are always in our thoughts and our prayers. We are so glad that you are beginning a new trial, and we do pray that this will be the one that brings that cancer to its knees. We are also happy that Deb will be there with you. We will also pray that the pain will come under control. God bless you all. Joy and Casey Stengel

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, you are still in our Tuesday night Bible studies prayers. I do need you to kick this thing, so you can come visit!!! Maybe I need to come up there?! Hmmmmmmmmmmm... Thanks for keeping us posted - be sure to update us after new trial. Still in my prayers. God bless.

Charles aka Chuck in Sarasota

Anonymous said...

We also pray for you daily at our evening dinnertime. Individually, we also remember you and the family in our personal prayers.
We pray this new treatment will be effective for the cancer and also that the pain treatment will give you relief.
Thanks again for the update.
We love you all!
The Strodtmans

Anonymous said...

We are praying that this new treatment will work for you. My class has seen your pictures and tumor and are praying for it and the others to lessen. We pray for your whole family too. Love, from Judy Ellefsen and her 4th grade class