Posts Tagged With: Torisel

A Year in Review

Year-in-ReviewThis year is almost over.  I don’t know about you, but this year has gone by pretty quickly.  I have noticed that as I get older, the years seem to go by faster.  I began this past year with the news that I would need to be treated for stage 4 kidney cancer that had metastasized to my lungs.  Originally I was diagnosed with this at Palo Alto Medial Foundation in California.  My wife and I were planning on getting treatment there.  After some delays in obtaining the medication they were going to use to fight the cancer my wife looked into getting treatment for me at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Phoenix.  I thought we couldn’t afford it, but after finding out they would pay for our flight, we decided to go there for a second opinion.  I am sure glad she called them, because after meeting with the team from CTCA we decided to go for treatment in Phoenix.

So in this past year of getting cancer treatment at CTCA, I have had a total of 7 bronchoscopy procedures, 2 stints placed in my right bronchi, and 3 different treatment options.  I have been on Interleukin-2, Torisel, and now Votrient.  I have also recently received a large dose of radiation directed at the main tumor site in my right lung.  I have also had a procedure to put in a Power Port to have all my blood tests and therapies taken from.  One of my bronchoscopy procedures did not go very well.  In July, I ended up in ICU on a ventilator after my right lung collapsed after the stint in my lung was crushed by the tumor mass.  I almost didn’t make it.  But the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ got me through that whole ordeal and I am still living to fight another day.  As of today I am a 2 year kidney cancer survivor, and a 1 year survivor of having stage 4 kidney cancer.

This year has also been a year of many changes.  Today is my 3rd wedding anniversary.  Yet, this cancer diagnosis, among other things, has probably cost me my marriage.  My wife and I separated just a few months ago.  I have since then relocated to Goodyear, AZ where I can be closer to CTCA for treatment.  Probably the greatest change has been recently for me.  All of these things have caused me to grow closer in my relationship to Jesus Christ.  I have finally accepted the fact the He loves me and has called me to Himself before the foundation of the world.  “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”  Ephesians 1: 4-5 NLT.  It does not matter what I do, His love and acceptance for me is unchanging.  He has been so faithful to me, in spite of my often unfaithfulness to Him.  He has opened doors for me to smoothly transition in my move to Arizona.  He has brought new friends in my life who are fellow cancer patients.  He has also continued to provide for me and bring healing in my life from this cancer.

There is so much more I could write in review of this year, but I wanted to keep in brief.  The Lord has allowed this cancer to exist in my body.  I don’t thank Him for my diagnosis with cancer or being separated from my wife, but I thank Him for seeing me through all of the trials of this past year.  I know that He will be glorified in all of this in some way.  My prayer is that He will continue to live His life through me and in me.  If the Christian life is going to be lived in me, He is going to have to do it.  This past year I have learned that it is impossible for me to live the Christian life.  I will mess up more than I will succeed in living a godly life.  But, when I surrender to Christ, He lives His life through me because He is my indwelling Lord.  I agree with the Apostle Paul who said, “My old self has been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Galatians 2:20 NLT

I pray all of you will have a joyous new year in 2015.


Categories: Bible, Cancer, Health, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cancer Treatment Phase 3

TomoTherapyThe next phase of treating stage 4 kidney cancer in my lungs begins tomorrow.  Tomorrow I will be given a very high dose of radiation directed at the tumor mass in my right lung that refuses to shrink.  This will be the third different type of treatment I will have received to battle this kidney cancer in my lungs.  I have already received Interleukin 2 and Torisel for treatment thus far.  On Monday I went through a radiation simulation in the radiation oncology department.  My radiation oncologist, Dr. Lanceford Chong, was there to oversee the process of getting me “lined up” for targeting the radiation cloud.  It was a very interesting process.  I was laying down on a bed in front of the CT scanner with my head held in place on a certain spot.  Then, they molded a pillow like substance around the rest of my body that was formed specifically for me.  After a couple of runs through the CT scanner I was given a couple of marker “tattoos” to keep me in alignment.  My team is hoping that this one dose will be enough to slow down or even stop this one tumor mass that continues to give me problems in my lungs.  Then about one week after receiving the radiation blast, I will be starting on an oral chemo medication called Votrient.  The Torisel treatment helped to eliminate and shrink several tumors in both of my lungs, but this one tumor mass was resistant to it.   I am hopeful that this new set of treatments will finally kill that tumor mass in my right lung.

Categories: Cancer, Health, Personal | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Cancer Treatment Cycle 12 Part 2

Happy Thanksgiving All!healinghands

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for completing cycle 12 of treatment for stage 4 kidney cancer in my lungs using Torisel.  I am also so very grateful for being able to get treatment for this cancer here at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Phoenix.  The entire staff here has been great to work with and to know, from the line cooks who make my breakfast burritos to my oncologist Dr. Walter Quan Jr.  My recent CT scan showed that the tumors in my lungs are stable and not growing.  What a good report!

I am also very grateful to my Lord Jesus Christ who has healed me and sustained me through this cancer journey thus far.  I was visiting a fellow patient last week who was having his right kidney removed due to cancer.  It is the same procedure that I went through almost 2 years ago.  After my visit in the in patient ward of the center I passed by my old room.  I walked by this room and tears welled up in my eyes.  I began to weep as I walked down the hallway.  You see, about 5 months ago I was admitted to the ICU section of the center after complications in my lungs after a bronchoscopy.  I went in for the procedure on a Tuesday and woke up on a Friday.  The doctors weren’t sure I was going to survive.  But, Jesus knew that He was not done with me yet and He healed and strengthened my body to be able to walk out of that room.  The Bible says in Psalm 139, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  So, I still have some days ahead of me.  I don’t know how many, but I am believing that He will restore my lungs and I will be cancer free soon.  I am also very grateful to the Lord that my sins are forgiven and I am covered in His righteousness.  Galatians 2:16 says, “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”  I say Amen and Thank You Jesus!


Categories: Cancer, Health, Personal, Theology | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cancer Treatment Cycle 12 Part 1

CTCAWell I have started my 12th cycle of cancer treatment on Torisel for stage 4 kidney cancer today.  Today, I went through a CT scan to check on the progress of the treatment against the cancer cells in my lungs.  The scan showed that the tumors are stable.  There has not been any significant decrease in the size of the tumors.  I will get a more detailed report on the scan from my oncologist, Dr Walter Quan Jr. tomorrow.  I am due for my 12th dose of Torisel tomorrow morning here in Phoenix at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA).  I also noticed that the scan showed some minor fluid around my heart.  This could be the reason I have been short of breath and having swelling in my ankles and feet (mild edema).  Again, I hope to get some more answers tomorrow after meeting with my treatment team.  I will be staring my physical therapy for my lungs next week and will be fitted for compression socks as well.

I met another fellow cancer patient this week that also is going through treatment for stage 4 kidney cancer here at CTCA.  His tumors spread into his brain.  I have been grateful to meet other patients here recently who are going through what I am going through.  That’s two fellow kidney cancer friends in the past 2 weeks.  I am not alone here at CTCA.  I am surrounded by fellow patients and nurses who keep me in a positive frame of mind.

Categories: Cancer, Health, Personal | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Cancer Treatment Cycle 11 Part 2


My Bay Area Peeps Wendell and Lee

Well I have successfully completed my 11th dose of Torisel to treat my stage 4 kidney cancer in my lungs.  My oncologist Dr. Walter Quan Jr. is still very pleased with how my body is responding to this current treatment.  Once again, I had no negative side effects during treatment.  I do, however, expect some mouth sores in about a week.  It seems to take that long for any side effects to show up.  I will be getting another CT scan in two weeks right before Thanksgiving.  I’m going to thank the LORD ahead of time for a good report on the next scan.

I had a bad coughing episode a few nights ago where I was wheezing pretty badly and coughed up some blood.  I was able to get this under control after using my inhaler.  I had a chest x-ray done today so that my pulmonologist, Dr. Turner could see if there was any kind of infection causing the cough.  The x-ray came back negative on infection and the tumors appear to be the same size as the last x-ray.  Praise the LORD for this good news!  I am feeling pretty tired today since I just had treatment yesterday, so I will spend the remainder of the day resting.  I am slowly learning to listen to my body and do what it’s telling me.  I am also learning to take care of myself by taking advantage of all of the health services offered here at Cancer Treatment Centers of America.  Next week, I will be getting another chiropractic adjustment, another massage, and I will meet with one of the mind/body counselors here at the center.  If you are diagnosed with cancer, then CTCA is the best place to get treatment for it, in my opinion.

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Cancer Treatment Cycle 11 Part 1

GoodyearLogoPurpleTransWell, it’s time for cycle 11 of my treatment for stage 4 kidney cancer that is in my lungs.  I just had my power port accessed and labs drawn so I am all set to receive my meds for putting an end to the spread of the cancer using Torisel.  I had a little bit of scare last night.  I had my first case of wheezing in several months.  I had a bad coughing spell where I had to cough up some blood.  I quickly used my inhaler to help me to breathe without the wheezing.  I was thankfully able to sleep through the night.  I will be meeting with my entire team today.  My oncologist, care managers, nutritionist, naturopathic, and pulmunoligist.  I hope they can give me some answers and encouragement today.  My morning started off great as I had breakfast in the cafe with my fellow cancer patients with Cancer Fighters. They are a great group to hang out with here at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Phoenix.  I will write another post later this week with an update on how the treatment went.

It is still very strange to be living here in the Phoenix area.  I have been here for two weeks now and it still doesn’t feel like home yet.  But, my new apartment is now furnished thanks to my friends and care team here at CTCA.

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Cancer Treatment Round 8 Part 1






Well I am flying off to the Phoenix area once again for another round of my Torisel treatment for Stage 4 Kidney Cancer.  It is a strange thing to be looking forward to going back to Cancer Treatment Centers of Americabut I am.  It is all because of the great and caring staff of the center.  My oncology team is wonderful and the staff know my name.  I will walk in the center tomorrow afternoon and be hugged and greeted by at least 5 staff members.  I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be treated at CTCA.

I am due to have an MRI on my brain tomorrow afternoon.  I have been experiencing some fatigue and dizziness lately.  So, my oncologist wants to make sure that the cancer hasn’t spread beyond my lungs to my brain.  I appreciate all of the prayers and support of my family and friends.

Categories: Cancer, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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