Update...{December 17, 2013}

On Monday, December 16, 2013, Jane met with her doctors at MD Anderson and they administered another cycle of the drug Avastin.  Jane has been able to manage most of the drug's side effects fairly well and maintains a decent energy level and great attitude.  Although it is clear that the recurrent, metastasized cancer detected over two years ago is still around, Jane continues to stay in fairly good shape, all things considered.  The plan forward is to have another cycle of Avastin and then "restage" the disease some time in January, 2014.

As two out of three of Jane's boys are home from college, Jane will be blessed with all three of her boys home for the Christmas season.  We want to take this opportunity to wish each one of you a very holy and merry Christmas season.  You have no idea how your many acts of kindness and generosity, prayers, Rosaries, and Masses have sustained us over the past two years while fighting cancer.  We are ever so grateful and thankful for many family and friends who have helped us along the way.  You are in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope you are able to spend quality time with your families and loved ones during this special time of the year to focus on the true meaning of Christmas!

Update... {November 18, 2013}

On Monday November 18th, Jane met with her team of doctors at MD Anderson to review the test results as she completed the first three cycles with the single agent treatment plan using the drug Avastin.  The tests indicate that the disease is essentially unchanged, in that it is not growing, which is great news for Jane.  We'd obviously like to see the cancer shrink down to zero but, at this point, a stable disease is really good news and we need to take it one step at a time.  Jane still continues to suffer from small side effects with the Avastin drug although she has tolerated the Avastin drug regime a whole lot better than the other drugs.

At this point, the plan is for Jane to take three more cycles of Avastin, which would involve three - three week cycles of taking the drug at the beginning of week one and then using the next two weeks to recover.  This plan would take Jane through the months of November and December and then Jane would be ready to be "restaged" in about two months or mid-January.  Jane feels a lot better and her spirits and outlook are much improved.

As we head into the Thanksgiving holidays, we all have much to be grateful for and we have been blessed with the love and support of so many friends and family over the past two years.  We will continue to pray for all of you and hope you have a great and safe Thanksgiving with your families and loved ones.

Update...{November 7, 2013}

On Monday October 28, 2013 (apologize in advance for the late post), Jane started the third cycle of taking the drug Avastin.  Avastin is the third different drug Jane has taken over the past two years to battle the adenocarcinoma cervical cancer that has metastasized (which means the cancer has spread from the original site) after being dormant for over ten years.  The first two sets of chemotherapy drug treatment protocols were experimental in nature with Jane experiencing a pretty rough set of side effects with each regime, but the effectiveness of those drugs had pretty much run their natural course and the disease was no longer responsive to either set of drugs.  With Avastin, Jane continues to handle this drug fairly well, with only minimal side effects at this point.  Jane, however, continues to take daily doses of pain medications to manage her pain levels and the doctors are closely monitoring Jane's kidney functions which needed earlier treatment.  Jane's blood work and kidney function test results from Monday October 28th came back in the range of "normal" for the most part, which is a really good sign.

On Friday November 15th, Jane will undergo a series of tests at MD Anderson including a CT scan, and those test results will be reviewed on Monday November 18th, at which point the doctors will again recommend a path forward.  It has been over two years  since we learned about Jane's recurrent, metastasized cancer and we are just grateful for each day and incredibly thankful for the gifts of friendship and unconditional support from so many wonderful friends  and family.  Please know that each one of you are in our daily prayers of thanksgiving. 

Update...{October 10, 2013}

Jane started the second cycle of the new drug Avastin on Monday, October 7th.  Jane has handled this drug fairly well with very few side effects and Jane’s blood work and kidney functions all appear to be headed in the right direction.  Jane’s energy levels are very high and spirits are positive.  Jane will take another cycle of the Avastin drug in three weeks (on or about October 28th) and then Jane’s cancer will be restaged in mid-November.  At that time, the doctors will review Jane’s CT scan and related test results to determine the path forward. 
As the summer weather gives way to slightly cooler temperatures in Houston, we offer prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving to so many of you who have been so helpful, supportive and loving over the past twenty four months.  There is no doubt that we could not have pushed forward without so much help and love.  Please know that we are humbled and thankful for all of you.

Update...{September 5, 2013}

Jane completed the procedure at MD Anderson to relieve pressure on her right kidney and she came thought it without any complications.  She spent the night at the hospital to be monitored and returned home on Thursday September 5th.  The doctors present plan is to start Jane on a new chemotherapy drug called Avastin on Friday Sept. 6th.  The theory behind this drug is to slow the growth of new blood vessels that allow the cancer tumor to grow.  This drug is not expected to have any major negative side effects for Jane.

We want to thank everyone for their continued prayers and support as we feel them.

Update...{September 1, 2013}

After further evaluation, the doctors believe there is a tumor pressing against Jane's kidney, colon and ureter.  This tumor is significant enough that it is interrupting the proper functioning of Jane's kidneys.  The doctors want to attempt to stabilize Jane's kidney functions so she can continue to take chemotherapy drugs to fight the cancer.  The procedure on Jane's right kidney is scheduled for Wednesday September 4th.  Once the doctors assess the procedure's results, the doctors expect to continue with a new chemotherapy drug. 

We express our continued thankfulness and gratitude to everyone for their support, concern and prayers.

Update...{August 25, 2013}

After updating the blog on Friday, we talked further with Jane's team of M D Anderson doctors who are deeply concerned about the state of Jane's kidneys. A review of the test results indicate the right kidney is functioning well below what the doctors expected. Both kidneys need to be functioning well for Jane to proceed to the next round of chemotherapy.  The doctors want to perform an operation in the next week or so to improve both kidneys' functions. Therefore, the chemotherapy session scheduled for this weekend has been postponed until after the operation is performed. 
We are still processing this unexpected turn of events and want everyone to know we appreciate their concern and prayers. Jane has a strong fighting spirit, and we will get through the next step of this journey.  We will let you know when Jane's operation is scheduled.  

Update...{August 23, 2013}

The M. D. Anderson test results show that Jane's disease is generally unchanged compared to the test results from two and a half months ago, which is good news.  We'd obviously prefer for the disease to be totally gone, but the first step is to stop it from growing and keep fighting the good fight.  As such, Jane starts Cycle 4 of the chemotherapy program tomorrow where she will take three chemotherapy doses on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and then off for three weeks to recover from the side effects and then undergo a re-dosing of the drugs. The doctors continue to monitor the chemotherapy drugs' side effects on Jane's urinary tract where she has had two new stints recently installed.

Although Jane's spirits and outlook remain positive, she still takes daily pain medications to regulate her pain levels and other medications to address other side effects from the disease.  We continue to be amazed at the level of professional care from the entire M. D. Anderson organization. We also want to thank everyone for their incredible support and help.  We know we are not walking alone as we feel the prayers, Masses and rosaries every day.

Update...{August 8, 2013}

Jane completed Cycle 3 of of the combination of the cisplatin and topotecan chemotherapy on Monday July 29th (sorry for the late post) at M D Anderson.  The side effects from this cycle were not nearly as bad as from Cycle 1 although Jane is, frankly, still suffering.  Jane's spirits and outlook, however, remain bright and positive.  As the type, and degree, of the side effects vary from patient to patient just as each cancer is unique to each individual, Jane and her team of doctors are doing a better job of attempting to stay ahead of the potential side effects and managing them via medications.  There are many variables that are being addressed  and Jane is receiving first rate patient care at MD Anderson.  On Friday, August 23rd, Jane will go to M D Anderson to be "restaged" at which time she will undergo a battery of tests to assess the status of the disease and then the doctors will recommend a way forward.  We ask that you pray for good results.

Additionally, we sincerely appreciate all the prayers and assistance over the past 21 months during this long journey.  We know we are not alone and we have come to rely on your kindness and help.

Update...{July 1, 2013}

Jane completed Cycle 2 this past weekend at M D Anderson with the combination of the cisplatin and topotecan chemotherapy drugs.  Jane got off to a slow start on Cycle 2 as her white blood cell count was too low initially so she was put on a drug regime to increase her white blood cell count which delayed the start of Cycle 2 by a few days.  Low white blood cell count is a fairly common side effect and the doctors will continue to monitor Jane's situation.  

The side effects from Cycle 1 were pretty rough on Jane as this was the first time Jane received this drug combination.  Jane managed through it, she feels a lot better at this point and we should be in a better position to handle Cycle 2.  Jane will start Cycle 3 in three weeks or about July 19th.  We continue to be very thankful and grateful for all the prayers, rosaries, Masses and help & support over the past 20 months.

Update...{June 3, 2013}

After a nice approximately five week break of building up her strength and stamina, Jane started Cycle 1 of the new chemotherapy regime at MD Anderson today, Monday June 3rd.  Jane's new chemotherapy regime is comprised of a combination of two traditional drugs, cisplatin and topotecan, which are administered together intravenously every three weeks.  On the first day of each three week cycle, cisplatin & topotecan are given together and then on the second and third day, only topotecan is administered to Jane.  The first day is a long day, about nine hours at MD Anderson, and each of the next two days at MD Anderson are about two hours each.  After the first three days, Jane then does not return to MD Anderson until the beginning of a new cycle.

Both chemotherapy drugs have a number of side effects which will be monitored. The type and level of side effects are difficult to predict at this point as Jane has not had both drugs together before and side effects are often unique to each patient so it will take some time for Jane to fully understand the drugs' impact.  The doctors are, however, fairly confident they will be able to manage the side effects for Jane by various medications.

The doctors have recommended we start with 3 three week Cycles of this drug combination.  This initial regime will involve 3 three week cycles or nine weeks total and take Jane to early August, at which time the doctors will "restage" the cancer;  meaning MD Anderson will perform another round of tests including CT scan, EKG, etc. to asses the status of the cancer.  After reviewing these results, the doctors will then recommend a way forward for Jane.

Jane's spirits remain high and positive.  As summer is upon us, we want to thank everyone for your continued support and assistance and enjoy time with your family, friends and loved ones.  We are so grateful for the prayers, Rosaries and Masses!  Thank you again!

Update...{May 18, 2013}

On Thursday May 16th, Jane's doctors successfully inserted a stent in Jane's left ureter to alleviate the urinary tract blockage.  The operation was under a general anesthesia, and Jane came through it like a champ.  The urology doctors were satisfied with the results and will see Jane on a follow up basis in three months. Jane's pain level is manageable, and we are very thankful for the medical care she received.

Going forward, as the status of Jane's cancer has disqualified her from the clinical drug trial she has been on for the past 18 months, Jane will take a short break to attend to the details surrounding her son's high school graduation from Strake Jesuit College Prep in Houston, Texas.  Afterwards, Jane will likely start a new chemotherapy regime this summer consisting of a combination of a couple of traditional chemotherapy drugs.  Jane's doctors believe this is the best course of action at this point. 

We want to again thank everyone for so much support and prayers.  We really could not have arrived at this point alone so many thanks again!

Update...{May 12, 2013}

Jane met with her team of doctors on Friday, May 10th at MD Anderson.  Based on the team of doctors' interpretation of the most recent test results, Jane's doctors have concluded that Jane will need to come off the present clinical drug trial as there is new, convincing evidence that it appears that the cancer is growing in a new area, around her right kidney, and not responding effectively to the clinical drug.  Although this is disappointing, the ABT 348 clinical drug trial did, in fact, eliminate the disease in Jane's abdomen where it had spread to from her pelvic area which is very positive. 

Additionally, it looks like there is some blockage in the two ureters, which are thin tubes made up of muscle fibers, that connect the kidneys to the bladder and are part of the urinary tract system.  This blockage is most likely caused by a combination of the side effects from the radiation treatments from twelve years ago, side effects from the most current chemotherapy drugs and the metastasized, adenocarcinoma cancer.  To alleviate and treat the blockage, the doctors use a ureteral stent which is basically a very small, approx. 12 inch long plastic tube inserted inside the ureter to keep it from blocking up.  The doctors were able to place a ureteral stent in the right ureter through an out patient procedure yesterday which was positive, although it was pretty painful for Jane.  Further, it looks like Jane will have to be placed under a more general anesthesia to attempt to place a ureteral stent in the left ureter as the left ureter has more complicated blockage.  This procedure most likely needs to be performed before Jane heads to the next step as the next set of drugs also potentially have negative side effects on kidney functions.  Jane's team of doctors want to make sure that they have done all they can to care for Jane's kidneys and urinary tract system as they need to be as strong as possible to be handle the side effects from the new drugs.

Once the doctors are satisfied with Jane's situation with her kidneys, Jane will go onto a new regime of a combination of chemotherapy drugs.  We are hoping to start this new regime in the next week or so.  Since October 2011, we always knew that this was going to be a long and winding journey and we must persevere and carry on.  Jane is strong with a positive attitude and has come to rely on so many of you for support and inspiration. We sincerely appreciate that so many of our family and friends are walking together with us on this  road.  We continue to be very grateful for your prayers and support as we feel them and need them.  

Update...{May 6, 2013}

Jane met with her team of doctors today, Friday May 3rd, at MD Anderson to review the results of her most recent tests.  The CT scan showed new evidence around Jane's right kidney, which may or may not be a recurrence of the disease, and Jane's cancer marker levels were elevated.  Jane's doctors will review her case with a wider team and make a recommendation to us in the next week or so. Unfortunately, Jane will have to come off the present clinical trial if it appears the disease is recurrent in this new area of Jane's body. Jane's doctors have identified another clinical trial that it looks like Jane will be eligible to enroll in if we have to go that route. Jane's doctors have also recommended that Jane see a urologist to have her kidneys checked out just to be safe.

Our doctors have cautioned us not to get too high or too low over the course of this treatment as there would be good days and there would be more difficult days.  We have to stay steady on course as we are on Cycle 27, after having started at MD Anderson in October 2011.  We sincerely appreciate all the continued prayers, support and assistance. Thank you so much.

Update...{April 13, 2013}

Jane met with her team of doctors at MD Anderson yesterday, Friday April 12th.  Jane then started Cycle 26 on the experimental chemotherapy drug, ABT 348.  With the combination of drugs prescribed by her doctors, Jane has been able to address the various side effects caused by the experimental chemotherapy.  Her energy levels are good with a positive attitude.  Jane continues to attend rehabilitation therapy twice a week at MD Anderson to improve her mobility.  In three weeks, May 2nd and May 3rd, Jane will undergo another battery of tests in order for the doctors to "restage" the status of the cancer.  After reviewing the results of these tests, the doctors will again recommend a way forward for Jane.  Until then, Jane will enjoy the Spring weather in Houston!

We are amazed by the continued level of support, prayers and assistance provided by family, friends and loved ones after 26 three week Cycles (546 days by the way).  We are so grateful for so much unconditional love and as you pray for us, we pray for you.

Update...{March 26, 2013}

Jane met with her doctors from MD Anderson on Friday March 22nd. As an update, Jane continues to suffer from various side effects as a result of the ABT 348 drug including, among others, high blood pressure and migraine type headaches.  As many of you know, the ABT 348 is a protein based form of chemotherapy. In response, the doctors are prescribing medicines and they continue to fine tune the combination of drugs in an attempt to best manage those side effects.  After the doctor's examination, Jane started Cycle 25 on the ABT 348 experimental drug as it appears that Jane's cancer continues to respond to the experimental drug. Yes, we are on CYCLE 25!

Jane really has been a warrior through this process and we have relied on our faith to sustain us through these many cycles.  We remain grateful for the countless prayers, rosaries and support from so many of you.  Thank you again so much!

Changes to Schedule for Rosary

As you may know we have been praying the Rosary for Jane on Monday nights at 8pm in St Jude Chapel at Saint Vincent de Paul. We are thankful to so many who have joined us throughout the last few months.

Please note that tonight's rosary has been canceled. We encourage each of you to pray tonight wherever you are until we can get together again. We have so much to be thankful for, in Jane's health as well as so many other blessings.

Beginning next week on Monday night at 7pm we will gather together to pray in the church, in the St Jude alcove, rather than in the adoration chapel at SVDP at 8pm as we have done in the past.

Update...{March 1, 2013}

Jane met with her team of doctors today, Friday March 1st, at MD Anderson to review the results of yesterday's tests. The tests reveal that Jane's disease is basically stable, as it has not spread and not actively growing.  So Jane will remain on the experimental drug, ABT 348, only as this drug appears to be "controlling" the cancer at this point.  As a result of this progress, Jane will not go back on the traditional chemotherapy drug, docitaxel, with the really bad side effects.  This is really, really good progress and great news for Jane.

On the side effects front, Jane still suffers from elevated blood pressure and "migraine" type headaches.  Last week Jane was in the hospital for two and a half days to address the high blood pressure and headaches. The doctors are attempting to manage these side effects through a combination of medications.  Jane has been a strong trooper through the cycles and maintains a great attitude.

Jane starts Cycle 24 today!  Jane will go through three twenty-one day cycles of taking the ABT 348,  which should bring us to Cycle 26 in early May 2013.  At that point, Jane will be "restaged" and the doctors will then assess the test results at that time to determine the path forward.  Until then, Jane will have nine good weeks to continue to build up her energy levels and strength to battle this cancer. The doctors told us that with this type of recurrent, metastasized cancer and Jane's response thus far that we should be prepared to start to view this as more of a chronic condition for Jane and learning to live with cancer.

We are so thankful and grateful for all the support and prayers and continue to be humbled by so much help from so many different people.  It is very comforting to know that we are not fighting alone and we have this wonderful army of support.   Thank you so much!

Update {February 12, 2013}

Jane met with her team of doctors today, Tuesday February 12, 2012, at MD Anderson for a regularly scheduled visit.  As Jane is taking only the ABT 348 during the month of  February, she is feeling much better in general.  Although her energy and stamina levels are good, she is still battling certain side effects, namely really  bad headaches from time to time, elevated blood pressure and lymphedema, among others. The doctors have prescribed medications to address these matters and Jane continues to soldier on with a positive attitude.

Jane felt good enough this month to attend a silent four day retreat at the Featherock Conference  Center located in Schulenberg, Texas.  The spiritual activities at the Center are entrusted to

Opus Dei, a personal prelature of the Catholic Church.  More information about retreats and other activities at the Center for men and women can be found at "www.featherock.org".  Jane's older sister, Jeanie from Shreveport, Louisiana, accompanied Jane on the retreat so we are not so sure about the "silent" nature of the retreat!  
We continue to be amazed at the incredible level of support, assistance and prayers since Jane was diagnosed with a stage 4, recurrent and metastasized cancer in October, 2011. Among other things, we love attending (when Jane is able to do so) the regular Monday night rosary at 8 pm which has been organized by Jane's dear friend, April, and which is held at the St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church's  Adoration Chapel with mostly our friends' children leading each decade of the rosary - - - how inspiring to hear the young, beautiful voices of the Church speak to heaven requesting the intercession of the Virgin Mary for Jane!

Update {January 8, 2013}

Jane met with her doctors today, Tuesday January 8, 2013 to review the more detailed assessment of the CT scan results.  As there was no clear evidence of the cancer spreading, the doctors deemed the results "inconclusive"; therefore Jane's condition did not warrant more aggressive measures.  The doctors cautioned that there is an "area of concern" in her abdomen but there are limitations to the tests' diagnostic capabilities and they will monitor this area over the course of time.  Based on the results, the doctors recommended that we "stay the course" and stick with only the ABT 348 experimental drug for the next month.  Jane, at this point, does not have to go back on the chemotherapy drug, docitaxel, which has the really bad side effects.

This is really good news as Jane will have another month taking only the ABT 348 and this will allow Jane time to build up her strength and stamina.  Jane goes back to MD Anderson for another round of tests at the end of February 2013.

We hope you all had a great Feast of the Epiphany this past Sunday.  We continue to be sustained by your prayers and kind thoughts as they are working so please keep them coming.  We are truly grateful for everyone's support and assistance over the past fifteen months.