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A Change of Direction

For the past 16 weeks treatment has pretty much looked the same.

Tuesday night: Drive to Nashville

Wednesday: See doctors, receive 5+ hours of infusions, then drive back to Memphis attached to a portable pump.

Thursday: Receive infusion through portable pump.

Friday: Drive back to Nashville to remove pump, get another round of infusions, then drive home to Memphis.

As of yesterday October 14th, this grueling bi-weekly chemo regime is over. We got back my second round of scans letting us know how treatment is going, and what progress is looking like. If you recall, my first scans showed great progress with an average 30% decrease in tumor size. Unfortunately, this time the scans were less positive. While they indicated some continued shrinkage in areas around my lungs and in the various glands and lymph nodes in my abdomen, the problem is that the tumors in my liver showed over 25% growth. This is an aggressive level of growth that, if not stopped within a matter of weeks, will led to organ failure.

So, what’s next? Frankly we don’t know. After discussing with our doctors, they have decided to take two weeks to consider all options for a cancer that is behaving this aggressively and to develop a new treatment plan. One option is a clinical trial out of Canada that includes a targeted immunotherapy treatment. If I’m eligible for this trial I could continue to receive care at Vanderbilt, but only be up there one day every three weeks. This is the leading contender at the moment. Meanwhile we are circling back with all our doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Johns Hopkins, MD Anderson, and others to see what if any clinical trials are available and targeting my condition.

This is definitely a setback, but it also offers us some relief from the brutal treatment plan I have been on for the last four months. All of the options ahead are much, much easier to manage and will be much easier on my body. My doctor said I should expect to feel better in the short term with more energy and weight gain, so we are looking forward to those two positive developments.

There is a lot we don’t know now, but we will keep you updated as soon as we know something definitive. In the meantime, please keep sending prayers of healing, strength, and mercy our way. We love you all and could really use the extra prayers and support right now.

Love,

Tommy and Olivia

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