Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chemo Starts Friday!

We met with Dr. Sam Whiting today, a medical oncologist at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Although his picture on the website made him look about 12 years old, we were happy to discover that he is almost 40.

Our journey to Seattle was primarily to investigate the option of doing a clinical trial or some other type of chemotherapy kung fu that might only exist within a university based cancer program... however, there were not any active trials ongoing for Nick's specific cancer.

Dr. Whiting was a wonderful guy, very down to earth, who spent almost 2 hours with us. He reviewed Nick's PET scan with him (which he hadn't seen yet) and explained at length what he thought the best treatment path would be right now. He and Dr. Jafari had already spoken to each other and discussed the available options. They both agreed on using
3 chemotherapies upfront:

1 - Capecitabine (Xeloda)
2 - Gemcitabine (Gemzar)
3 - Taxotere

These will be given over a 3-week cycle. And Nick will undergo three cycles (9 weeks) of this treatment, before another scan. At that time, they will determine if the tumor has reduced in size enough to remove it.

Considering that March is the 3rd month of the year, and that there is a 3 in the number 13... I can't help but think that this Friday the 13th is going to be a lucky day... when the three, 3-week cycles, of 3 chemotherapies... will begin. And after 9 weeks of treatment (almost to the day!), Nick will turn 39 years old.

Let's hope he won't be eating after midnight that night.


  1. Michal, I like your numerical thinking about Nick, chemo, his birthday! Sounds like winning lottery numbers or just a plain winning combination!!

    Nick, sounds like you'll be getting quite the cocktail of chemo! Remember that when you are turning 39, I will also be turning 39...for the 2nd time! I know we'll have something to celebrate!

    My love and prayers go out to you all!


  2. And... it also just so happens that "39" was the jersey number of my favorite baseball player growing up (Mike Greenwell, left field for the Boston Red Sox) who hit a grand slam home run in his very first major league at bat!


    Much love,
    Cousin Nate

  3. So, is it possible to be a 'blog nerd' or does it just mean you care alot about your friend who is far away when you write comments on his blog all the time? Anyway, Nick, you were naturally on my mind this morning as the kids and I were frequenting our favorite Anchorage hot spot- Fred Meyer. I glanced both ways before crossing the street of course and out in the middle of nowhere, all by itself in the parking lot was a blue Explorer identical to the yours (I don't even know if you still have it, but I remember you pulling up so proud and all smiles right after you bought it). Anyway, I got this amazing feeling of peace and just smiled knowing everything is going to be okay. God has sent me some funny messages over the years, but never a car.

    Sending love, Sara

  4. Hey Nick- I have thought and thought about you and your whole family since I learned about the cancer. My prayers have been sent up double and triple strength almost every day. Michal, thanks for keeping us up to date- Tiffany (LaMonte) and I talk almost every day and almost every day we say something about the prayers we are sending up for you- Love you all,
    Kathy (Moore) Hansen

  5. nickya bud im with ya bud hope your o.k god bless the jeffroe

  6. Hi Nick -- I'm a friend of Michal's and we've met several times at your wonderful family gatherings. Perhaps Michal has mentioned this, but my best friend, Ritsuko (Ree) Hamai had stomach cancer and had Dr. Whiting for her medical oncologist. She has nothing but sincere respect and admiration for him. I spoke with her last night and she instantly offered to speak with you and tell you about her experiences. Her email is:
    Understanding that you have quite a way to travel to SCCA, she and her boyfriend Svend also offered a spare bedroom to you if you'd ever like a comfortable local place to stay. If you ever do speak with her Nick, you'll find that she's one of those 'angel on earth' types and is like a cool fragrant breeze on a warm day.
    My heart and thoughts are with you Nick...