Happy: A Quest for Life After Death

Monday, January 05, 2009

Mat and Steve Jobs

Important news flash: Steve Jobs (Apple CEO) today announced weight loss and a "hormone imbalance."

Mat and Steve Jobs have something in common -- can you guess what it is? Nope, Mat is not also the CEO of Apple. Jobs also has neuroendocrine cancer. We hope he's really experiencing a "hormone imbalance," but my guess is his cancer has returned after a relatively lengthy remission (four years or so). If I had a NICKEL for every person who told me four years ago Mat was lucky because he had Steve Jobs' kind of cancer, and not some other kind, well, I would have about a dime. But I'd have to guess Mat doesn't feel lucky.

Also today, we met with Dr. Dave to review Mat's latest scans. The "shmutz" in the lungs from the previous scan are now actual, identifiable tumors. The growth from the last scan is very small, but important. It means the Torisel is no longer working, and Mat is back in the market for a new chemo regimen.

The list we had to work with last July, when Mat started on the Torisel, was pretty short. Now it's shorter. Somehow, with all of the oncological experience, insight, and wisdom we've amassed over the last four years, we have to decide whether Mat should start on a chemo combo of adriamycin and streptozocin (a drug combination that flattened him when he was healthier and had 20 more pounds on him), or try for a Phase I clinical trial.

All drugs now on the market started as Phase I clinical trials, but right now that option feels more like a step toward accepting that we might have reached the end of the medical rope than anything else.

The scan results notwithstanding, we still have things to be thankful for. Unlike Steve's tumors, Mat's are "nonfunctioning," meaning that they don't secrete hormones and make his body do weird unpleasant things; the tumor growth from the last scan was small; Mat's weight has been pretty stable for the last few months; and it's been a great four years.


Anna said...

*#%^@ shmutz!

DMRirie said...

Kimberly and Mat
We keep you in our prayers. Keep hopes banner floating over you.
the riries.

TGP said...

Stand strong - to hell with Shmutz :)
I like the denial tactic...
Keeping you in our thoughts...
S,T & t

Stacy said...

this is mat's cousin stacy. my mom (his auntie ann) gave me the link to your blog. i just wanted to let you know that we are praying for you and we love you!