Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Update

Tyler is back at Children's today for PET scans. This marks 6 months of remission, a very important date! On the 21st and 22nd we will be back again for two more days of testing. These additional days of tests will also be looking at how effectively Tyler's body is recovering from all the damage that all the chemo inflicted. Tyler is feeling great, and we are expecting all good news.

In very basic terms, the purpose of chemo is to kill everything. The theory is that the newer, faster growing cells will die first, hopefully leaving enough healthy cells alive in the process. That is why chemo inflicts so much damage to cells that naturally grow fast, such as cells for hair, finger and toe nails, stomach, kidney, liver, heart, and lungs.

Not much has changed in chemo over the past 60 years. Methotrexate, the first chemo created, in the 1948, was a major part of Tyler's treatment. These drugs designed 60 years ago were created to be used on adults, whose average age was 65. There has very little research into the treatment for childhood cancer. Since childhood cancers are much more aggressive, and children can handle higher doses of chemo, the solution has been to give them mega-doses of these old chemo's designed for 65 year olds. The life long effect of these high dose drugs on young developing bodies is just now beginning to be understood.

We need a new approach for childhood cancer. There is a lot of "talk" and research papers about treatments that enhance and strengthen the body's natural abilities to fight cancer. This would bring an end to dumping so much poison into our children's bodies. But, at this time, there are not enough funds for the research. There are just too many more important priorities (such as the banking and automotive bail outs).

And please keep in your prayers...

Mason has Burkitt's and has relapsed.
Stef is still very deep in the heat of his battle.
Ryan has had a rough week, but is still fight hard.

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