Even though the final pathology results from last week's biopsy are not yet available, Case's doctor said today that she would like to begin Case's chemotherapy tonight. The doctor said she "lost sleep" over the weekend thinking about Case and feels strongly that there is no need to delay chemotherapy any longer. He had an audiology test today which he passed in preparation for chemo treatment. An audiology test is commonly performed prior to giving chemotherapy to establish a baseline to detect whether or not the treatment is negatively impacting hearing. After just one round of chemotherapy, the tumor is expected to shrink significantly and offer Case a little bit of relief. He'll receive 3 days of chemo (tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday). If Case's liver and other organs are doing well, they'll probably come home Thursday or Friday.
Case's doctor is classifying the tumor as a stage "three-and-a-half," mostly because she sees indications of metastasis to another possible tumor in the back of his chest near his spine, and it will be clinically classified as a stage "four."
Case's chemotherapy will be administered in 8 cycles, each three weeks long. Every odd treatment will be three days long and every even treatment will only be one day long. With each treatment cycle, they will alternate the types of medicine used so that the tumor won't build up a resistance to one type of medicine. During the first week, Case will likely feel pretty nauseated. During the second week, he'll be very susceptible to germs (likely no visits during this time). And, in the third week he'll be feeling like himself again. At the end of the third week the next cycle will begin. At the end of 8 treatments, hopefully the tumor will have shrunken enough to remove it surgically.
We feel that this is a direct answer to prayers. Emily and Xavier want to express their gratitude for all your prayers, concerns, and well-wishes. Continue to pray that Case's body will handle the stress of the chemotherapy and that the medicine will do its job!