Friday, December 17, 2010

Murphy's Treatment Plan

If you're offended easily, please read no further. Don't know what sort of graphic language will be expressed in this post and I have no intention of editing it.

A lot of you know me from our walk from Austin to Boston ( http://2dogs2000miles.org/ ) some of our new friends don't. Then I was walking in memory of Malcolm whom I lost to cancer. Now I'm just a father who's desperately trying to save his other boy's life from this dreadful disease. I've made the decision to make a documentary of this latest chapter of our lives and I'll post more about this as it develops.

It's already a hard time of year from me since it was this time in 2005 when Malcolm was struggling and the metastatic tumor in his lungs was overtaking him. But this isn't about me so let me bring you up to speed about Murphy.

I posted about his prognosis. We don't understand why the first round of radiation failed... I have a theory but for now it's academic and we can't afford time for talk. The tumor has reached critical mass and if allowed to grow any further, it'll shut off his ability to breath through his snout. If that happens he'll have no quality of life.

The recommendation of the oncology team at CSU is that we have to act immediately and hit it hard with everything they've got. Their radiation plan is 30 grays administered over three days, the maximum tolerable dose.

After that we'll look into chemo as an adjunct therapy. Thanks to everyone who posted to our wall about human cancer drug trials - Erich is compiling a list from your links so I can send emails out to the principal investigators.

The potentially catastrophic downside to this plan is there's a 5% chance Murphy will succumb to massive radiation alone in a few weeks or months.

"What's your decision?" Dr. Withrow asked me Friday.

Having sat through 30 minutes of if, ands, & buts - all I could think about was Star Trek. Strange since I'm not a Trekkie but when he said the first round of radiation merely stunned the tumor, I thought of the phaser and it's two settings: Stun and Vaporize. At least that's how I remembered it since the last time I saw an episode was probably in the 80s. Perhaps we didn't hit it hard enough the first time and the Variant Trilogy machine was on the wrong setting.

I don't know how much time passed after he asked the question - all the options and the probabilities of their outcomes cycled through my head like a centrifuge.

"What are we going to do?" he asked again.

"Let's kill this mother f***er"

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lost my cat Murphy to renal lymphoma in 2006 so your Murphy's story really grabs my heart. My Murphy was treated with chemotherapy. He tried so hard but was gone 3 mos after diagnosed. I wish you and your Murphy all the very best. I wish you both strength and miracles and many more years together

Anonymous said...

Ironic that I would read your latest post with a Sunday afternoon Star Trek marathon on the local TV station in the background. (Sigh.)
For what it’s worth, I completely agree: set your weapons on vaporize and give that tumor hell!

Elayne said...

Luke you do what every you have to do. Right now I have scheduled my 15 year old Whippet Merlin for surgery on the 30th. He has three tumors under his tail. I am very worried.

Rob said...

Luke,
We (My great Pyr Sara and I) wish you and Murphy the best as you embark on this treatment. Please kick its ass. We will send our energy your way.

Peace.
Rob and Sara

Optimistic Cynic said...

Good answer!!!!!!! Best of luck to you all!!!!