Monday, 2 February 2009

Scan Ahoy - More Therapies

It looks as the only time I get (remember) to write blog entries is when I'm coming up to MRI scans. This or next week I'll have to go to the Doctor to get my Blood checked for Platelets as usual, and then the scan is booked for the 17th Feb with the Oncologist / Neurologist check up the week after.

Can you believe its Six months since my last dose of Chemo?
As I've said before its always a bit of a worrying during this time not knowing how the MRI results might pan out, but this time is a special worry because it is in the next 3-6 months that Tumours often/usually reoccur.

I have a dentist appointment on Friday too, not related, the Dentist is checking out the Op I had to scrape out an old tooth. If all goes well I need to decide if I want an implant to replace it. And what is the major deciding factor? Cost, Pain , No (well maybe a bit on Pain). It all depends on the state of my tumour.

Studying a lot treatment news at the moment. A couple of interesting ones:

TTF again
Remember my visit to Dr. Magneto that resulted in my tumour downgrade. Well there is a lot of activity in the area of TTF, including the results of a trial combining TTF (the Electric field machine) & Temozolomid (the Chemo I have been using) with recurrent patients showing a mean time to disease progression of 155 weeks compared to 31 weeks for normal chemo.
Damn this downgrade I want one of these alien defense mechanisms and I promis to take my pills.

Gene Therapy
There is so much going on in Gene Therapy I can't help thinking this is where the cure is coming from. Take a look at this where they are using a 2-pronged gene therepeutic attack to force regression.

Brain Tumour Virus anyone?
Hold on to the end for the twist.

It has been noticed that GBM tumours attack middle aged people that were well-educated and from higher socioeconomic backgrounds (and then there is me). Their "hyper-hygienic" lives have possibly left there immune systems susceptible to more common viruses such as CMV.

Now a neurosurgeon has discovered a relationship between Brain Tumours and the CMV virus, a herpes virus that is normally harmless lying dormant in 80% of the the population. But in tumour samples it seems that CMV is actively replicating. If this turns out to be causal then a vaccine may be on its way (but probably too late for me).

An interesting Postscript: Back in April 2006 Carol was very ill. She had severe bouts of tiredness and fatigue for several weeks. When she had her blood tested they found the culprit, CMV, and that an anti-arthritic drug that she had been taking had reduced her resistance to it. Eventually the problem cleared up on its own.

16 Months later I was diagnosed with a GBM tumour that the nuerologists reckoned had been growing for "one or two years".

Is this just coincidence or did Carol & I pass around the the same virus (via the usual bodily fluids) with astoundingly different results. Back then I worried that Carol's illness was life threatening. This needs investigating, if only to prove or disprove the irony of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your journey has been in my web searches. Best wishes to you in all of your endeavors. You are in my prayers and your family is lucky to have such a fine man in theirs.
Cindy Leibner