Monday, January 30, 2006


No more Duke

No, this is not the chant of a raving Tarheel fan (which I am not). I'm referring to my bi-weekly trips to Duke to receive photopheresis treatment. After talking with my Yale oncologist last week, we decided to cease those treatments as they have been ineffective at receding the rash. In fact, new rash spots (the manifestation of the lymphoma) has spread slightly to my calves. Instead, I will begin an oral form of Targretin in addition to the topical Targretin I currently use. The oral Targretin is more potent and has more significant side affects, including possibly increasing my LDL (bad cholesterol) and affecting my thyroid. I'll have blood work bi-weekly to monitor those items with the possibility of additional medication (think Lipitor) to counter those affects.

This news is good/bad: Good because I don't have to goto Duke. Bad because (obviously) the photopheresis wasn't effective. I knew that photopheresis is a relatively benign treatment, with little down-sides and many upsides. As I stated at the outset, my cancer was caught early in its life-cycle, I'm relatively young and there are many non-invasive treatments available (i.e. not chemo/radiation). We've exhausted one of those options and are now moving on to the next. I will be going to Yale in late March for my next visit with Dr. Foss.

Please continue to pray for my healing and for the emotional impact on me and Rachelle. We know we're on a journey. Please pray for wisdom and strength as we take the next steps. Thank you.

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