So the last couple of days have been stressful to say the least. I have been online researching other people with Hodgkin's Lymphoma to see their journey, what kinds of treatment they have had and hear what they have to say about there experience. I read a story today about a girl going through the same battle as Nathan her father had written it from his perspective and he said "This is a marathon, it’s not a sprint and this journey is filled with peaks and valleys" so true so so true! It is a marathon. The first time around I was not there to experience this with him but I have heard stories and let me tell you that I had no idea how hard this all is for Nathan for family for doctors it is not easy for anyone involved. No one can tell you what the right thing to do is because every case is different and that is what makes cancer so scary. Nathan had a long battle the first time around and this one is going to be a struggle as well. The doctors started him on a trial called JAK 2 to start, he had no results. He had to try a treatment that failed to be admitted into the trial of SGN 35. Doctors really had high hopes for that drug. It was kind of going through the motions with the JAK 2 and trust me that is hard to say going through the motions when you are facing life or death disease and you are wasting away about three months of your cancer spreading but as I said no one knows what will work and what won't. The SGN 35 helped a little with some areas but it progressed so much in his liver we were left with no choice but to stop that and move to something else. Last trip the Dr. said we should probably try the GND if you read the last blog we had heard they were out of it, a nation wide shortage. When we met with the doctors yesterday at MD Anderson they informed us that they have the G (Gemzar) they have the N (Navelbine) they are out of the D (Doxil). Basically they left Nathan with three options 1. Do the GND without the Doxil 2. Try one of two optional trials that are lead through same research as the JAK 2 another pill form 3. Nathan could go into the hospital to be administered a very toxic chemotherapy that would take about four days to administer and depending on how it went he could possibly leave the hospital but would have to be in Houston close by incase of an emergency. As I said it is so hard to know WHAT to do but we were all in agreement that option two would not be best. Ultimately the decision was Nathan's and rather than go into the hospital he decided to do the GN and we are expecting the Doxil to be in by late July early August at that point he can receive the full regimen. Clinical research has shown that a regimen of Gemzar®, Navelbine® and Doxil® (GND) was an effective salvage therapy for patients with Hodgkin Lymphoma who had failed chemotherapy or an autologous transplant. Doctors seemed to be hopeful that Nathan will have results. If he does not we are left with no choice but for him to be admitted and doing the strongest things possible and pray that he can go into remission and receive his Allogeneic stem cell transplant. If you would like info on that here is a great website that explains it http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/TreatmentTypes/BoneMarrowandPeripheralBloodStemCellTransplant/stem-cell-transplant-types-of-transplant
A ton of people have asked about it and it's so much to explain. Basically Nathan had a transplant with his own stem cells that failed last time so now he needs a transplant that uses someone that is a close or perfect match for him. You can join a registry here is the link for info on that bethematch.org.
So as far as today goes Nathan was the strongest I have seen him yet. He did very well with the line they gave him to give him the chemo. We then went in a they started by giving him Zofran through IV for nausea, took about 30 minutes, then they gave him the Navelbine that took about 30 minutes or so, then last he received the Gemzar, again about 30 minutes. He had a little trouble with that it burned his veins for about 10 minutes then he was fine. We are back home now. He vomited some then I got him to eat a little bit of soup. He felt bad so now he is sleeping. All in all though it was a good day. He held up very well. We will se how this effects him in the next six weeks until they evaluate him to see how successful it is. I can tell you that Nathan is so courageous and that he does not EVER complain and by far he is the most amazing person I have ever seen in my life. I don't say that because he is my husband I say that because it is true spend five minutes with him and you will see what I mean. He is a true inspiration to me. I am lucky to learn and grow from him each and every day.