Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dy 2 of 42/30

Day two has proven to be a little more tiring on dad. His tumor is fairly large, and there is a very large portion of the brain being targeted with the radiation.

He looks a little swollen, probably from the steroids, and is relying a little more on his cane. Typically, people have a gradual decline in energy throughout the radiation and chemotherapy and around day 21, is when we have been told you are likely to see a pretty significant effect.

Overall, dad seems to be doing well. He is grasping for normalcy by hanging out at the cigar shop and trying to stay busy with mom. The monotony is mind numbing I'm sure.

Side note about the treatment. This particular type of chemotherapy isn't known to cause people to lose their hair. Most people lose hair at the radiation site, meaning they have a big bald patch. Personally, I think dad will keep his remaining hair unshaven as conversation starter. 😁

We spoke with Dr. Pandy at the West Clinic today. She provided us with the long awaited genetic results of dad's tumor. The most important part of the results was that dad's tumor is methylated. That means the MGMT mutation is turned off. MGMT is a "suicide" DNA repair enzyme. With this gene turned off, it keeps the cells from repairing the tumor DNA as they are killed off by the chemo. MGMT methylation is associated with an improved response to treatment with DNA-damaging chemotherapies such as temodar.

So the layman version is that the fact that the tumor is methylated means that it is more likely to be responsive to the chemo!! Praise God on high!

Ideally we would have liked to see some other mutations turned on along with this, but if we could only pick one to be on or off in our favor, this is the one we want, the way it is.

Keep praying, sending good thoughts, and positive energy! It's working.

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