Monday, January 25, 2010


Hi, everyone. I have some important news to pass on regarding Monica's health. As some of you may know Monica has been experiencing symptoms similar to what she did before the tumors were removed from her lungs - coughing, shortness of breath, and of affected voice. This has progressed through the past week, and today her oncologist said that, as Monica suspected, it is likely this is due to rapid growth of the small tumors that remained in her lungs. They have cancelled chemo today and are running emergency CT scans/chest x-rays ASAP. There is a small chance that this is scar tissue from her original lung surgery, but along with her doctor's, Monica feels pretty strongly it is cancer. Her oncologist was wanting to talk about hospice care. She will meet with the oncologist and review the scans as well as plan-forward on Thursday. She was told she will likely start a new chemo regime then. They told her that the chemo she was getting originally was pretty hard-core, and this will be even more so. What I mean by that is she can expect to be pretty heavily impacted by the side effects. They originally went with what they thought had the best chance of arresting the growth of the tumors. This new chemo is not as targeted for her specific disease and her oncologist suggests a 20% chance it could stabilize her cancer. Basically, as she moves forward having to try new things, the chances of those new therapies working decreases down to less that 1%. The new chemo regime will take 36-48 hours to administer, and therefore, will require a minimum 3-night stay at MDACC. She will do this every 2 weeks. Her oncologist does not recommend surgery at this point to remove any new tumors. She says it is a quality of life issue, that the cancer is spreading so effectively, the time spent on recovering from major surgery is not worth it. This is definitely a time for prayers for peace and strength for this family, and I thank you so much for caring about them. - Jennifer

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