Journal entry by Joan Stromberg

Just wanted to update you all on Bob's recovery from surgery and where we stand in treatment of the cancer. Bob recovery from surgery went very well. While he was recovering, he usually walked 2.25 miles twice a day. Most of us couldn't keep up with him, he was walking so fast! He was medically released to go back to work this week and is doing very well.

The biopsy from the liver, swollen lymph node and gall bladder was good and bad. The liver tumor had grown quite a bit and was actually starving itself and the center of it was necrotic. The tumor showed that none of the chemo treatments had much effect on it. The lymph node was about 2.5 times larger than it was supposed to be and was completely full of the aggressive, high-grade neuroendocrine cancer. Since it is the lymphatic system that the cancer uses to spread the disease, this was not good. The gall bladder, however, was cancer-free (yeah!). 

The specialist, Dr. Anthony, at the Markey Cancer Center at University of Kentucky, met with us on August 2nd. He said that we really couldn't do anything until we get a PET scan when Bob has healed from surgery. That scan is scheduled for Aug. 30. Dr. Anthony will read the scan and meet with us the same day so we don't have to make two trips to Lexington. If the scan shows any tumor activity, we will set a course of action, most likely immunotherapy, since the chemo had very little effect on the cancer previously.  If there is no evidence of disease, Dr. Anthony will schedule another PET scan two months later. Unfortunately, he said that because of the cancerous lymph node, it isn't a matter of if the cancer returns, but when. Dr. Anthony is highly regarded and on the forefront of research in treating these rare and aggressive neuroendocrine cancers, so we are glad we are under his care.

Meanwhile, since it has been a couple of months since Bob's last chemo treatment, his hair is growing back and his energy levels are rising. His appetite is good and he looks very well. He continues to walk, although just in the evenings since he is working now, and he even started swimming again. 

We've enjoyed many visitors this summer including visits from three of Bob's sisters who were life-savers helping out during Bob's surgery, hospital stay and recovery. Our daughter, Elizabeth, who lives in Georgia, was able to spend a good part of the summer with us, also. 

We thank you all for your prayers and your thoughtfulness. We are uplifted by them daily!

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