Monday, November 03, 2008

Back in Berkeley

I'm back from my week in Dublin Ohio visiting head office of my new job for the first time. It went well, it'll still take a while for me to feel like I know enough to contribute anything real but I think I have something to add.

Meanwhile, Rebecca continues to recover from the pneumonia and continues to get stronger. It seems to be 'common knowledge' that it takes weeks to recover from pneumonia so there is no surprise that she's not yet back at full speed. The big question that remains to be answered in the short term is how much of her current condition is the pneumonia and how much has 'other causes'. My understanding is that the cancer in her lungs now gives her a predisposition to infections like pneumonia because the standard lung cleaning operations are obstructed by the cancer growth. I'm not sure what we do about that.

The results of the last biopsy showed that Rebecca's tumor is still estrogen receptor positive. This means that it can still be treated by 'starving' the tumor of estrogen. The doctor has proposed a hormone treatment that is a monthly injection. He hopes that the treatment will either stop the current growth or may even shrink the tumors. I'm not quite sure how that aligns with his other statement that there is a 30% chance of this treatment being effective. The proposal is that she tries this treatment for 3 months and then we check to see if it has helped.

One of the main questions we have right now is: Why not jump in at this stage and aggressively treat the cancer with chemo therapy? Not that Rebecca particularly wants to do chemo but we are wandering why that isn't the recommendation.

In other news... Rebecca went to see a new doctor at the end of last week. At her initial meeting there were actually 2 doctors present, the homeopath and the Tibetan doctor. They sat on either side of her both checked her pulses while discussing with her and with each other what they were feeling. Rebecca was particularly impressed that rather than asking her what her symptoms are these doctors felt her pulses and told her what was going on... You are sleeping poorly, you have back pain, you have 'this ' type of cough... etc. Rebecca has great hope that the treatments offered by these doctors; herbs, dietary, etc, will address not only these symptoms but the underlaying systemic causes of the cancer growth.

We continue to gather information about all of the cancer 'cures' that are available out there. Many of you have sent us pointers to various practices and practitioners. We have to try to work out which of these avenues Rebecca should pursue, some of them are mutually exclusive.

More as the news comes in...

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