July 3

Yesterday was a day of many mixed emotions for our family and the end result turned out to that same affect. I was unable to attend Mom's appointment per typical so my diatribe on the results will be significantly shorter than normal. 

I spent yesterday in court, trying my best to honor my son Tyler's wishes to stay in Iowa this summer. We had a number of very good reasons for feeling this was a necessity, surprisingly not the least of which involved my Mom's health (or Tyler's wishes). Unfortunately, this am we will tearfully send him off to CA for six weeks against all our better judgement. Please pray for him, he is in an exceptionally challenging situation, is struggling, and he desperately needs it.  

On a much happier note, we learned that Mom's (Alpha-fetoprotein) AFP tumor marker is down from 16,600 to 13,870. The normal range for this marker is around 10 ng/mL, and when Mom was diagnosed, they essentially knew she was deep in the weeds with cancer from her marker sitting in the 16's. This likely means the Nexavar is having some positive effect. 

As I wrote previously, Mom's stamina and breathing have been somewhat improved since her diagnosis. She also has tolerated the Nexavar well, with her main side effects to date being some puffiness in the eyes and face and a bit of a rash. These are both major victories, as Dr. Karwal told us of patients that could never tolerate more than a single dose of the Nexavar and the side effects are much more intense for many. That doesn't mean that some might not creep up eventually, but for now, we take each day as a win.

Dr. Karwal is most concerned with her weight. She lost an upwards of 10 lbs since her last appointment and he left her with strict orders to eat more, eat often, and eat foods full of as many calories as she can possibly stuff into her body. 

He told Mom the goal is to get her feeling good enough that if she wanted, she could go to work. Given her retirement, we are setting our sights more so on getting her into the saddle again and out on her bicycle. We still have some work to do to get her to that point, but it is uplifting setting our sights there for today.