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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

{It's A Numbers Game}

Yesterday we had a doctor's appointment where we received some very encouraging news!! First...let me give you some background...

When Adam was initially going to the doctor to determine what was causing the swelling in his right testicle, the Urologist requested several blood tests to check for markers that would indicate cancer. This test is called an AFP or Alpha Fetoprotein test. This test is the reason things changed gear so quickly and had Adam's surgery moved up. When this test shows positive, it means there is an active cancer cell in the system. The numbers increasing means the cancer is growing or spreading, decreasing means it is going away. When Adam was admitted to OHSU for his hospitalization and emergency chemotherapy, his AFP test came back at just over 55,000. (A normal, healthy result would be less than 4).

We were discouraged after Adam's first round because we found out that they would not be conducting the CT's or MRI's as we were initially told, so we were kind of in the dark as to how effective the chemotherapy was going to be unless other tests were run. The AFP test was completed again on January 9th, the first day of Adam's second round of cancer. This time, his numbers were just over 6,000!!! Effective?? YES! But don't go throwing parties just yet...

After speaking with the Social Worker and Dr, we understand that the chemotherapy is doing what it is supposed to be doing. It is killing the cancer cells faster than they can multiply and they consider it a success when the AFP numbers decrease by a factor of 10. Adam's numbers were right in line for what they were looking for, so this is really, really good news! We still have a long road though and we understand that. Adam begins his next round of chemotherapy on Monday and then again the week of February 20th. After that, we will have additional blood tests and  a CT and MRI to conclude whether or not there remains any tumors. We don't know what it will mean if they do find something - if it will require surgery or additional treatment. We don't know if there are tumors that remain dormant or how that works. So only time will tell but this was a very, very positive note to our week! This is encouraging because it makes us feel like life returning to "normal" could happen sooner rather rather than later. It also reassures us in that this treatment has been worth the difficulties we have been facing because it seems to be working! We are remaining optimistic despite knowing that there could always be relapses or as the saying goes - for every two steps forward there is one step back - we know that and so we are trying not to get too excited because we do not want to become too discouraged if there is another stumbling block!! Thank you everyone for your continued support and prayers for our family - we feel truly blessed to have such a great support system!!


  1. That is wonderful news!! It does sound hopeful!! As you said, you still have a long road, but it sounds like there may be a light down there at the end!

  2. Yay!! So glad for the good news! Hope things continue to look up in the weeks ahead

  3. That is fantastic......we will keep prayers going your way and hope things will keep on the positive. Bless you all!!

  4. This IS wonderful news! Congrats to all of you, we love you.

  5. Whoo hoo!!! Here's to more steps forward and none back. But if there are some steps back, we are here for you. Prayers will continually be sent. :)