Happy almost-spring! I’m finally posting an update on Byard’s progress. The new type of chemo Byard started in December (epirubicin) initially had a great response, dropping the tumor marker from 50,000 to 8,000, though the second round only got it down to 6,000. Byard showed some some mild heart damage from the chemotherapy (which we knew was a risk) and scans showed cancer continuing to slowly grow in the lungs as well as a new spot in the brain. So, we decided to discontinue the epirubicin.
Byard is now on an oral chemo (oral etoposide) and we meet with his oncologist tomorrow (March 6) to start a second round this week (the cycle goes 3 weeks on and 1 week off). They will also take his tumor marker tomorrow with results coming back later in the week. Overall the side effects of the oral etoposide are minimal so life has seemed a bit more normal lately! Not as many doctor appointments and no infusions needed this time around with Byard only having occasional nausea.
We met with Dr Feldman, a testicular cancer expert with Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC, who told us about their available clinical trials. There are two that Byard would potentially be eligible for if we need to go that route, including a combination immunotherapy trial. The only hiccup is that they will not admit patients into a clinical trial with active brain metastasis, so Byard had a second round of gamma knife radiation a few weeks ago. This should treat those new spots and clear him to do a trial if that’s what’s needed.
At the moment we pray that his tumor marker is coming down and the oral etoposide is working. The good news is that there are still treatments that the doctors can try so we are feeling positive.
In other news, Baby Byard is growing like a weed! He is 10 months old today and I feel like I’m in shock that he’s almost one year old already. We’ve had a nice few months with visits from family and friends. We’ve also had a chance to get out of the city with a few amazing trips to Cape May, visiting Byard’s brother, Ryan, in Delaware, and this weekend Byard and I are looking forward to a weekend away just the two of us. in the PA countryside
We hope all of you are having a lovely end to winter/beginning of spring and please keep us in your thoughts this week as we wait for test results.
Lots of Love,