Monday, August 27, 2007

Praying For Our Precious Pilgrim Pal Heather

Many of you have asked if I can take a different type of Chemo, and the answer is somewhat complicated. Temodar is the best for brain tumors because it has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. That is why it is so popular amongst Neurology Oncologist.
Very few conventional chemotherapeutic drugs can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, a “wall” that protects the brain by pumping toxins out of brain tissues and back into the blood stream. This barrier greatly limits the choice of chemotherapeutic agents that can be used to treat brain cancers. But some drugs are effective, and some tumors do respond to therapy. In recent years, researchers have refined and expanded the use of chemotherapy as a next-line approach after surgery and radiotherapy for the treatment of brain tumors.
Neuro-oncologists are involved in the development of a number of new chemotherapy drugs for brain cancer, including targeted therapies. For example, the relatively new drug temozolomide (Temodar®) is used as a targeted therapy. It interferes with cell division, thus slowing tumor growth. Because the basic building blocks of temozolomide are small molecules, the drug is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and reach tissues other chemotherapeutic agents cannot.
Luckily, Friday, I was able to see my GP and he prescribed Kytril (Thanks to whoever recommended it in my comments!). 1 Kytril pill is equivalent to 4 Zofran (I was taking 4 Zofran a night, the maximum dose recommended in a 24 hour period, and still woke up at 2 am every night with nausea). I also can take Zofran if needed, but not at the same time as Kytril. My oncology nurse said that it will take a couple of times (ie, a few months) to find out what works for my body. Naturally, I don’t want to wait a couple of months. So yesterday I went to Whole Foods and stocked up on leafy greens, morning shakes and fruit. I will combat the constipation with my regimen of laxatives,bran and fiber and my lack of energy with good hearty food that can be eaten in small doses. I will keep on top of the nausea before I have symptoms, and I will continue to take Zofran/Kytril for three days after my cycle of Temodar stops. I will drink tons and tons of water, and take Temodar with a full 12 oz of water a night.
Here are the common side effects for Temodar:The most common side effects associated with TEMODAR® therapy are nausea, vomiting, anorexia, alopecia, headache, fatigue, constipation, convulsions, weakness, and thrombocytopenia.
Thankfully, I only experience nausea, vomiting, fatigue, constipation and thrombocytopenia (low platelets). I have had moderate weight loss, but I am not anorexic
I take chemo tonight, before bed, so say an extra prayer for me at 9:30 est. I really think we have a good game plan down this time. The main thing is to stay on top of things so that you aren’t chasing after them later (IE: nausea and constipation) Many of you have asked if I will continue taking chemo, and the answer is YES. I will take it as long as my body allows me too (IE: my platelets and wbc stay up).
Specific prayer requests:- That my body would react better this time.- That my spirit would be at peace- That I would not fear, the fear is the worst- That Satan would stay out of my thought life- That the chemo does what it is suppose to do, and only that.
Thanks for your prayers


Terry said...

Dear Heather...Thanks for the update and we will certainly be praying for your requests.

Vicki loved these flowers so much that I thought I would put another beautiful flower into the bouquet.
We love you much "Especially Heather" and we admire you so...Love Terry

Pilot Mom said...

Heather, thanks so much for the detailed explanation. So helpful to understand the "why" of a chosen course of treatment.

I will be praying--already have today but will continue.

hebrews 11:1 said...

Hi Pals!

I'm back from the ridiculous doctor's appointment-- don't I sound encouraged??? couldn't believe my ears as the doctor tried to convinvce me that maybe this was not what the first doctor asssessed it as, not what I felt, not....and didn't even do a complete examination!!!! Oh, well! God knows! We're supposed to trust him, not doctors, eh? Hard pill to swallow, but I must move on. I feel I've exhausted the few resources I have...what a medical system we have here...I was on this dr's waiting list for A YEAR!

Thank you for all your prayers, and especially the outpouring of support for my Grannie! It really touched me. You don't know how much she means to me, and I have not been able to see her much in my life...I just want to give back to her what I can, and as the eldest grandchild NOT married, engaged, or in college I feel I must do what I believe is my duty. Understandably, my parents are very reserved, and especially with my mom being overwhelmed right now at home, it does not look or sound appropriate for me to bring up leaving home and becoming a full-time caretaker. I will be earnestly seeking the Lord-- my best friend and I have been praying about this since the Lord impressed it upon my heart 3 years ago, and Grannie ha only worsened...and her finances are also cause for concern. Above all, she needs 24/7 care...I pray I can give that...


Julie (aka Little Missionary) said...

Dear Heather, thanks for sharing that info. I will be praying for you!

Julie (LM)

Vicki said...

It's 9:15pm here (EST) and I just popped I''ve begun again to pray for you, dearest Heather as you undergo chemo tonight. {{hugs}}

I do love those gorgeous flowers!

Heather is the most gorgeous one of all.

Lord, that you would continue to comfort this precious one, and let peace like a quiet river flow through her mind and body tonight...Holy Spirit, wrap a sweet barricade around this child of yours and protect her from the evil one. Father, you have called Heather by name--she is Your own! We love her and stand by her and call out to you on her behalf and ask your healing power to move through her body tonight.

In Jesus we all pray.....

susanwalkergirl said...

Dear Heather...praying as you have asked. We thank God that He has He given you wisdom and will help you walk each step. Lord bless...Susan

Vicki said...

Praying over you some more, Heather. Sweet dreams, precious one.