Monday, August 3, 2009

We went to MIRT (the Myeloma Institute of Research and Therapy) today and they sent us over to the Cancer Center to start Tanner's treatment. They started him off this week with a Velcade injection. I would try to explain what Velcade does but thought the best thing to do is just cut and paste:

How does Velcade work?
Velcade is a type of cancer drug called a
proteasome inhibitor. Proteasomes are enzymes found in cells and play an important role in regulating cell function and growth by controlling the breakdown of important proteins. Velcade blocks the activity of proteasomes and by blocking the proteasome, Velcade disrupts processes related to the growth and survival of cancer cells.
New data also suggest that Velcade may significantly improve bone disease in myeloma patients. Velcade's beneficial effect on bone disease appears to be independent of whether or not a patient's myeloma responds to Velcade. Furthermore, Velcade is as active and safe in patients with myeloma-related kidney damage as in patients with normal kidney function.

From what the PA and nurses told us, after just one injection of Velcade, many patients have a significant change in their cancer masses. On Wednesday, they will do another gene array and compare it to the one they did when Tanner was first seen last week. After comparing the two gene arrays, Dr. Barlogie will determine what form of chemotherapy treatment Tanner will undergo.

Dr. Barlogie didn't like it at all when I told him that Tanner and I would be staying in Benton with my aunt. He wants us closer to the hospital so the Social Worker at the hospital here found us a little one bedroom apartment (furnished). His dad, step-mom, and I (with some help from other family members - thank you Traci & Rick for helping us get started) will split the cost of the apartment and will have a place close to the hospital. From what I understand, you don't have to sign a lease and can just rent from month to month. I called the apartment center today after treatment and left a message that I feel sure we will take the apartment and would like to come and see it tomorrow morning.

Of course, they wanted to have an answer right away but I needed to talk to Tanner's dad and step-mom before committing. The social worker told me she would call them back and tell them to hold it so hopefully, I can get everything finalized tomorrow.

My aunt called me today and said that she has some seventeen year old girls who are looking forward to meeting Tanner so we are hoping that we will have time to go to Benton tomorrow.

I think Tanner having an opportunity to meet some young people while we are here and make new friends will be beneficial to his recovery.

Tomorrow is just "lab work" day so hopefully we won't be there all day like we were today and we can check out the apartment. I'll keep you all posted.


  1. Tanner watch out for those girls. They will be after a good looking guy like you!! I know you all had a long day of waiting and hope things will go more swiftly for you now. Also very happy that Tanner took the medication injection well. Here is a little something from "Our Daily Bread." "Of all the many blessing that our gracious Father sends, I thank Him most of all today for loyal-hearted friends (and family)."

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.