We had the appointment with our ENT specialist and oncologist today, Nov. 17.
The cancer has metastasized to a small spot on my upper left lung and two slightly larger spots on my lower right lung. The ENT doctor says my throat looks good except for some slight swelling, which is typical of post-radiation patients. The oncologist said that my age and the rough year I have had makes it very difficult for him to recommend any biopsy since they are fairly certain it is the same cancer that was on the base of my tongue (squamous cell carcinoma).
The first recommendation is chemo and another round of herbotux infusion every week, with no guarantee that this will do much good and the treatment is very "harsh."
The second option is what we have decided to go with. It is a fairly new treatment called "immunotherapy" (keytruda) targeting my type of cancer. It is less toxic than chemotherapy and only requires 4 treatments of about 30 minutes each every three weeks. He said there have been reports of high success rates with this therapy, with only minimal side effects. (Including President Jimmy Carter who had Stage IV brain cancer that had spread and is now cancer free; and the doctor said he had a patient that had Stage IV melanoma that was completely cured. So this is a little encouragement --I will take all I can get of that!) At the end of the four treatments, they will do another PET scan to see if the cells have shrunk.
So, that's where we are. My first treatment will be next Tuesday morning at 11. There is no promise of a "cure," but this could possibly extend my time by quite a bit.
Thanks for your prayers and concern. We are still relying on The Great Physician. I am not having any pain and except for the problem with excessive saliva and heavy mucous in my throat, which makes it very difficult for me to talk and to be understood, I am feeling fine. Please keep praying for me and for Wesley. This is hard on him too.
[Editor's Comment: I rejoice with exceeding great joy over this good report. This treatment which President Jimmy Carter took and is now cancer free is so encouraging. I am reminded of what the angel Gabriel said to Mary who became the mother of Jesus, "For nothing is impossible with God" (Luke 1:36-37, NIV).
Join me and thousands of others who are praying for Janice Robinson Russ for her healing. Our God can do a creative miracle in Janice's body. When He does, we will give Him praise and all the glory.]