Taylor was diagnosed with colon cancer in early 2011 when she was only 14 years old. She had surgery to remove a portion of her colon, followed by 12 rounds of chemotherapy and a surgical procedure called HIPEC at MD Anderson hospital in Houston, TX.
The cancer returned in September of 2012 in an aggressive way. Two large masses were discovered in her abdomen which turned out later to be her ovaries. She had an additional 12 rounds of chemo, the HIPEC procedure again, then 3 follow-up rounds of chemo.
She was cancer free for her entire senior year, but in August of 2014 the cancer returned for a third time. She had a mass removed from her abdomen and she is currently doing chemo. She just finished her freshman year at TCU in Ft. Worth, Texas. It was a wonderful year with lots of Chi Omega activities, raising awareness and funding for pediatric cancer and participating in all the college activities she could fit into her calendar.
We had a long talk with our oncologist yesterday. The amazing Dr. Albritton always takes as long as we need and answers all, all, all of our questions.
We're trying to figure out these things on the three next-treatment options:
1. Clinical Trial option: How do all the doctors feel about the trial med and Taylor's specific type of cancer. Do they think it could be effective with signet ring cell colon cancer.
Lot's of 'if's' with this one. IF we get approved for the trial and IF she gets assigned to the med group and not the placebo group, and IF the med is effective with her cancer, things could be wonderful. But like I said, that is an awful lot of ifs....
2. Chemo Option: Cyramza is the med that she would try, along with the standard treatment meds. We don't know much about this one, except that it is an 'inhibitor' which doesn't just atom-bomb all fast multiplying cells like traditional chemotherapy. It targets certain cell types and inhibits their growth. It is slightly similar to another inhibitor she did try, but Dr. Albritton says you never know, sometimes penicillin doesn't work, but then amoxicillin does.....
3. Surgury/Radiation option: They feel confident that if they do surgery followed by specific, focused radiation that they could get all the visible cancer. They can never know if they've gotten every single cancer cell though. They would just take out as much as humanly possible with surgery, follow with 20-25 treatments of radiation, then see if it recurs at some point in the future. Our questions on this one are more timing and location. When would she have the surgery? How long would she be in the hospital? We know the surgery would be in Houston at MD Anderson, but would the radiation be there or near our home?
The doctors seem very confident that she wouldn't have nearly the side effects I had, as the throat is a very difficult area for radiation. (My radiation was for cancer in my throat.)
Dr. Albritton also feels that even if Taylor does have surgery and radiation, we could still likely have a clinical trial as an option down the road. She tells us that they would get all visible tumor out with the surgery and radiation, so if, God forbid, there is new growth at some point, it would be just that, new. Therefore that would qualify for a clinical trial.
Still looking for all these last few details then I think we will be able to make a decision that we all feel good about and finally move forward. Again, we feel good about how we're doing this, and we know for sure we won't have any doubts about our decision.
In the meantime Taylor is having the most wonderful time in Southern California. We went down to La Jolla Cove yesterday and had an amazing time. Lots of fun seals barking and sunbathing on the rocks. Taylor LOVED them! We ate at a wonderful seafood shack where they were bringing freshly caught fish right in the back door while we ate on the other side of the counter. Amazing!
Last night we went to a taping of the Late, Late Show with James Cordon at the CBS Studios. It was really fun to see the behind the scenes stuff. Felicity Huffman and Hannibal Buress were the guests. After the show we went to an amazing little Hollywood sushi shop for dinner, then a crepe restaurant in Los Feliz for delicious desserts.
We miss Shara terribly. She's busy with school at SMU, but we're incredibly proud of her! (We also miss the puppies and Chris!!)
Back home soon!
Thank you to everyone for your support, kind words, and loving prayers while we make this important decision.