August 22, 2014

Jane had a procedure performed at MD Anderson to drain a significant amount of abdominal fluid which had accumulated over the past few months.  This should provide Jane with at least temporary relief to get her through the next few weeks or so.   This build up of fluid is fairly common and the doctors are doing the best they can under the circumstances.   Jane continues to persevere and hold her own against the recurrent, metastasized adenocarcinoma cancer and the accumulated side effects over the past 34 months.  As you would expect, some days are better than other days but we are grateful for each and every day!

Many of you ask how can you help and you have helped by your prayers, rosaries, Masses and many cheerful notes and messages to Jane.  Jane's two older boys are back at LSU, with our remaining Strake Jesuit Junior at home so the house is a little less active and quieter.  We sincerely thank everyone for staying diligently with us through the highs and lows and also being very helpful over the last two and a half years plus!  We pray for you too as we march on.

Update...{July 22, 2014}

     Jane met with her doctors at M D Anderson on Monday July 21st for a regularly scheduled check up.  The doctors are monitoring the progress of the hormone therapy that Jane is presently taking and so far so good.  The cancer tumors are still there but Jane is holding her own.  Jane will remain on the hormone therapy for the foreseeable future.  Although Jane continues to suffer from multiple side effects as a result of the cumulative effect of the various treatments since October 2011, Jane continues to fight and defy the odds.  Jane remains fairly mobile and is able to attend daily Mass and interact with family and friends.  Jane's house has been full with all three sons home for the summer and it will be a little less active when two of her sons return to LSU in Mid-August.
     We continue to be grateful for everyone's support and assistance through this long battle.  You have all been very generous with your time and prayers and we continue to pray for all of you in our daily prayers.

June 24, 2014

As a quick update for June 2014, Jane continues with the hormone therapy that the MD Anderson doctors prescribed and is taking a daily dosage of the drug Anastrozole.  Although the drug itself does not appear to be producing any major side effects, Jane continues to suffer from other side effects such as, among others, chronic pain, lymphedema and abdominal fluid retention.  The doctors are attempting to manage the side effects with medication, to the extent possible. 

Jane stays as active as feasible under the circumstances and remains positive and hopeful.  With summer upon us, Jane's two boys from LSU are in Houston and working summer jobs.  So Jane's home is full with all of her three sons this summer.  We remain indebted and grateful to the many family and friends who continue to brighten up Jane's day with acts of kindness and prayers, Rosaries and Masses.

Update...{May 12, 2014}

Jane met with her doctors at M D Anderson today, Monday May 12th.  Based on the doctors examination and test results and the symptoms that Jane is exhibiting (retention of fluid in abdomen, increased pelvic pain levels, etc.), it appears that Jane's cancer is not responding to the Gemzar chemotherapy drug.  The doctors have prescribed a new drug for Jane, Anastrozole,  which is an oral pill to be taken daily; the good news about this drug is that there are no major side effects.  Jane will discontinue the every other week IV chemotherapy treatments.  MD Anderson has  had some success with this drug in ovarian cancer patients and Jane's tumors appear to be exhibiting ovarian cancer type characteristics. Anastrozole works by lowering estrogen hormone levels to help shrink tumors and slow the tumors' growth.

While Monday's news was not great as Jane's cancer remains stubborn,  we do have a plan and remain hopeful.  Jane's spirits remain positive and upbeat.  Jane had a great Mother's Day yesterday as her own mother was in town for the weekend.  Also, Jane's two older boys came home from college on Sunday afternoon so Jane spent Sunday evening with her whole family (including her two LSU attendees and a Strake Jesuit sophomore).  We continue to be grateful for everyone's care and concern and the outpouring of prayers, rosaries and Masses.  

Update...{May 1, 2014}

On Monday April 28th, Jane was administered the chemotherapy drug "Gemzar" as planned at MD Anderson.  Jane did experience some of the expected side effects  such as flu like systems, nausea, etc., but overall she tolerated it fairly well.  Nonetheless, as the cancer tumors are still in tact,  Jane remains on a regular, daily regime of powerful pain medications to manage her daily pain levels so this is no walk in the park, as you might imagine.  Jane will take the next couple of weeks to, among other things, build up her white blood cell count and her general energy levels.
Many people ask us often "what can we do for Jane?".  Although Jane loves receiving  your sweet notes, flowers, food, quick visits when she is up to it, etc., we continue to rely on the power of your prayers, rosaries, Masses, etc. so please continue to pray for us.  May 1, 2014 will mark the start of the 31st month that Jane was diagnosed with a recurrent, metastasized adenocarcinoma and we know that we are not walking alone as we have so many family and friends walking right along with us. Thank you again for everything.

Update...{April 15, 2014}

On Monday April 14th, Jane met with her doctors at MD Anderson and started the first round of the chemotherapy drug "Gemzar".  The plan is for Jane to take the Gemzar drug every other week through IV.  Rather than once a week, the doctors will administer it every other week to provide Jane with adequate time to handle the drug and it's expected side effects.  The most likely side effects are expected to be flu like systems for a couple of days after treatment.

Jane remains in positive spirits and ready to go forward with this new drug.  We continue to be humbled by the strong and consistent support of so many family members and friends.  We are touched by the cards, emails, prayers, Masses and rosaries offered up for Jane.  It is Holy Week and the Easter season is upon us.  We wish everyone a Happy Easter and please know that each of you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Update...{March 31, 2014}

Jane met with her doctors at MD Anderson on Monday March 31st.  The doctors have concluded that the Avastin drug has run its course as it appears that Jane's cancer is no longer responding to the drug.  The fact that there has been a significant build up of abdomen fluids (which is often a side effect of the growing presence of cancer cells) supports this observation.  Jane's doctors performed a procedure last week to remove some of the abdomen fluids in an attempt to alleviate some of Jane's constant pain.

After talking with Jane's doctors, Jane is really not a candidate for another Phase I clinical drug trial as she has already been through two experimental treatment protocols over the past thirty months.  The plan now is for Jane to try a traditional chemotherapy drug called "Gemzar", which has been in use since 1996 and has been successful in ovarian cancer applications.  The characteristics of Jane's tumors and ovarian cancer tumors appear to be similar and the doctors believe this application has potential.  Gemzar will be administered in IV doses once a week over a three week period and then Jane will take a week off to allow her body to build up strength and energy.  The doctors are not expecting any significant side effects other than flu like systems for the first 48 hours or so after each dosage and Jane's white blood cell count will have to be monitored.

As the MD Anderson doctors advised us at the beginning of this journey, Jane's battle with cancer has been a little like a rollercoaster ride - - - with highs and lows. Today's news was not great news as Jane's cancer is still growing and not responding fully to the drugs.  However, she has beaten the odds thus far, we do have a plan and we continue to be hopeful.  Jane continues to have a strong fighting spirit and an amazing faith.  We sincerely appreciate everyone's prayers, Masses, rosaries, etc. and please know that we pray for you too.  Thank you again for your incredible support.