Today Louise went to the oncologist in Gainesville. Bill said that the doctor was very positive and said that the chemo for these kinds of tumors is very effective. She also said that Louise is in good health so that will increase her chances of having the chemo work. The drug she talked about with them is a pill that could be taken at home. If she had difficulty with side effects from the pill, they could do an IV version of it.
She wants to get another opinion from a specialist at Emory. The type of tumor, she said is kind of rare because it is mixed. She felt that it would be good for Louise to go to a different doctor that would have a tumor board. A tumor board is when a group of doctors get together to review each case individually. They make recommendations and discuss possible treatments.
For example, I had a tumor board when I had my cancer. There were 10 doctors and all of them agreed that I needed chemo. Only one of them thought I also needed radiation, the rest felt chemo was enough. My doctor made her recommendation and decided which chemicals to use based on the meeting of the board. I feel sure that it would be a good thing for us to have as many different brilliant minds as possible to review Louise’s case. They would let her doctor in Gainesville know and she would carry out the treatment here. That relieved Louise to know that her treatment would be close by rather than in Atlanta. So off to another doctor as soon as they can get her an appointment.
Bill was really encouraged today. The doctor said that people can live years with brain tumors with the right treatments. It seems like the newer drugs are having more success, at least according to the doctors we have talked to so far. There is something called the blood/brain barrier which older drugs could not cross. The newer drugs (developed in the last couple of years) cross the barrier and are able to get into places in the brain that they could not before. The doctor also said that the chemicals for this kind of cancer are much better, as far as side effects, than the breast cancer drugs.
We are in Cancerland once again…it is a place where you wait. You have tons of appointments and it seems like everyone wants a piece of you. You have more information, in a language you find hard to understand, than your mind can comprehend. We are taking one step at a time, backed all the time with your prayers.

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