Give a little bit

Even in trying times, James and I have always tried to help people when we can. It feels good to give. Lessens depression. It feels even better to know that you were a small piece of something you believe in that turns out to be for the better and can actually help people. 
On this #GivingTuesday, we would encourage you to consider donating to a cause close to your heart. However, if you need a suggestion, here you go…

The first being the Appendix Cancer Pseudomyxoma Peritonei (ACPMP) Research Foundation. This foundation provides TWO annual grants to researchers who are searching for a cure and/or treatment for Appendix Cancer and PMP. As you know, December 20th will mark 7 years since James was diagnosed with Appendix Cancer and PMP. He has undergone two big surgeries and has continued to fight this disease with all he has. Our previous fundraising efforts helped this organization give out one grant in 2016. However, because of the generosity of those affected by this awful disease, the foundation is going to be able to provide FOUR $50,000 grants in 2018. With every grant provided, we are one step closer to finding a cure or an effective treatment. In the past several years, our small but growing community, we have lost beautiful warriors to this disease. Their ages ranging from their 20s to their 60s.  

If you would like to donate to this cause, click here to be directed to the ACPMP website. 

Secondly, I will remind you of James’ Go Fund Me page. At his last appointment, we were pleasantly surprised to see no growth in his existing tumors and no new lesions on his scan. We were also overjoyed to hear that his ever climbing tumor markers DECREASED by half. This is a positive sign that the trial may be working. Given that, his biweekly visits will continue indefinitely. So, if you are inclined to help our family directly, the link can be found here or above in the menu. 

However, we ask that you consider a donation to the continued research of ACPMP first and foremost. That donation has potential to save many lives while we continue to believe God is in control of our journey. 

Thank you for your continued prayers and support! 

James, Tara, Carlie and Luke

Week 10

Week 10 is done and James is headed back to Chicago in a few hours. 

Not much new to report this week. His CPK was up to 407 from 378, which is not awful. He didn’t have any of the severe muscle pain these past two weeks, which we were thankful for. His magnesium was a tad low so he needs to take a supplement and have it checked next week. 

None of the above stopped or delayed treatment today. So here he is… week 10 infusion! 

So this week, prayers for stable numbers to continue is his immediate need. While they are not hindering his treatment, it would be nice for them to be normal. Also, remember to be thankful for all of your blessings,  no matter how big or small. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! ❤️

End of Cycle 2 (8 weeks)

Today marks the end of cycle 2 and the beginning of cycle 3. At the end of every 2 cycles, James has a CT scan in addition to his labs and doctor appointment. 

He met with Dr. R this morning and received his test results. In all honesty, we were not expecting much from this scan as in the past, his scans have been every 4 months and show little growth so we expected a 2 month scan to be static. 

We were right. There was no growth shown and the radiologist read the scan as being “stable disease”. However, with his creepy crawly disease we will take stable as a victory! 

His CPK level was 1052 two weeks ago, 700 last week and 378 today!!! He has been off the cobimetinib for 10 days because that number was so high. Today, he will restart the Cobi at 40mg per day versus the previous 60mg per day and hopefully 🤞🏼 that CPK level will stay stable or even decrease. 

So now for the BIG NEWS!!! Tumor markers are not all that reliable but they are monitored for Appendix Cancer. James has had an escalating CA19-9 since his surgery in 2015. 

For perspective, James’ numbers have been the following: 

May 2015 (before surgery): 223

November 2015 (after surgery): 52

April 2017: 316

August 2017 (before trial): 372

TODAY: 178

Yes, my prayer warriors, his tumor marker FELL in 1/2!! 

This is huge news as his numbers have never fallen except for when he has had surgery! 

We are cautiously optimistic that this will be an ongoing trend. Today we are very thankful for answered prayers and such good news! We are also very thankful for Science and medical research. 

So today’s prayer request would be to simply be thankful!

Thank you for all your prayers and support!!