Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Brothers and sisters: Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.
Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us."  ~ Romans 5:1-5

Charlie is hanging in there and still hanging onto his mustache despite all the chemo. He also had to receive a blood transfusion last Thursday because of low red blood cell count. He tolertated everything well as usual but I think that Charlie is simply "sick" of being "sick"!!!
Please continue to pray for him...thank you!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Navelbine (brand name) injection and capsules both contain the active ingredient vinorelbine, which is a chemotherapy medicine used to treat cancer.

Cancers form when some cells within the body multiply uncontrollably and abnormally. These cells spread, destroying nearby tissues. Vinorelbine works by stopping the cancer cells from multiplying.
Like normal healthy cells, cancer cells go through a continuous process of change. Each cell divides into two daughter cells. These cells grow, rest and then divide again. The medicines used in chemotherapy are powerful chemicals designed to interupt this cycle and stop cells from growing and multiplying.
Vinorelbine belongs to a group of chemotherapy medicines called vinca alkaloids. These work by preventing the cancer cells from entering the dividing stage (mitosis) of their life cycle. This stops the cells from multiplying.
Unfortunately, vinorelbine can also affect normal, healthy cells, particularly those that multiply quickly, such as blood cells and hair cells. The most important side effect is on the bone marrow where blood cells are made. Vinorelbine can decrease the production of blood cells, leaving people susceptible to infection. Regular blood tests are therefore needed to monitor the levels of blood cells.
In most chemotherapy regimens, doses are administered in courses at various intervals to allow normal cells to recover from the adverse effects of the chemotherapy between doses. However, during this period, cancer cells will also recover and start to replicate again. Successful treatment depends on the administration of the next course of therapy before the cancer has regrown to its previous size. The aim is to decrease the amount of cancer with each successive course.
Vinorelbine is used to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer and advanced breast cancer. The medicine may be given by a drip into a vein, or by mouth as capsules.

Sunday May 23, 2010

Here are the results of Charlie's CAT scan from about a week ago...Kim called to report that as of right now Charlie has 2 lesions. One in on the liver which has been there since initial diagnosis and is a little larger than it was on the last scan, it measures 1.2 cm. In addition there is now a new lesion on the lung and it measures 1.4 cm. Despite this not so great news, everything else in the way of lesions are all gone.

Kim was somewhat disappointed with the test results, but I reminded her that Charlie's tumor burden is a far cry from where he was back in January with metastasis to the lymph, bone and multiple lesions in the liver and lungs. She also said that he was started back on a new chemo agent called Navelbine. He had his first infusion of the Navelbine last Thursday and will return every 2 weeks for the next 2 months for the infusion. Also Charlie's hemoglobin was a bit low which may be part of the reason why he has been feeling a little more fatigued. He did get his shot to help boost the production of red blood cells (RBC). RBC are responsible for carrying oxygen to the body, so if they are low the oxygen supply is low thus resulting in a feeling of tiredness for the patient. His white blood cell (WBC) count remains at an optimal level...which is very important b/c when you are going thru chemo you become what is called immunosuppressed which means the body's ability to fight off any infection, even the most common types, is greatly compromised and these infections can snowball into larger problems.

Also in Charlie's favor is that his weight has been very stable...this is a good sign. Cancer patients who can maintain a healthy stable weight overall do much better in the long run.

Thank you for keeping Charlie and Kim in your prayers. Kim is so hoping that by the end of July Charlie will have a clean scan showing no more tumors and he will be off all treatments.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Well the Wissahickon Valley Relay for Life event this past weekend was a huge success for our two teams. Together we raised over $4000 for the American Cancer Society and had a fabulous time to boot!!! The best part was that Charlie was there almost the entire day Saturday from about 1pm to 9pm. I think he really enjoyed all the ceremonies, the Survivors Dinner, and just hanging out at our camp site with all the people who were there to participate in team "Charlie Brown." You could tell that he was getting tired, but he really wanted to stay for the luminaria ceremony...and it was beautiful. Probably a thousand + luminaries were lit up with each one bearing the of a person who had to battle cancer. As we walked the track in silence, every name on every luminary was read over the PA system...very inspiring.

This picture is from Sunday morning in the parking lot at the end of Relay. The small Charlie Brown doll in the picture was on the track at all times during the 24 hour relay. Every team member carried this doll for some time during Relay. Kim laughed and said that Charlie is starting to look like the cartoon Charlie Brown.

As far as how Charlie has been feeling, well they are still weaning him off the steroids, so he is experiencing a lot of fatigue which is frustrating for Charlie mentally. But he was assured that this is a normal side effect of being taken off the drug. Also he had a follow up CAT scan last Thursday, so this Thursday he has a doctor's appointment and will receive the results. Please pray that they are good!!!

Thank you to everyone who donated to and/or participated in Relay for Life in the name of Charlie Brown...I know a few times at Relay Charlie was emotional just thinking about all the love and support given to both Kim and himself.

Charlie is fighting with all he has...he wants to get better and stay better. We will know a lot more about is medical status after the CT results are known...we are all staying positive. Please keep the prayers coming...they never go unheard.


    Teams "Charlie Brown and Charlie Brown Friends"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thank you to all who have been so supportive in giving to the ACS drive in the Relay for Life event happening in Wissahickon Valley this weekend!! So far both of Charlie's teams have raised a combined total of $3650 to help research and battle cancer.  Almost every minute of everyday someone is diagnosed with some degree of wonderful would it be if someone faced with the diagnosis would then hear...."and there's acure"!! We can make it happen by giving!! Thanks you everyone...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May 5, 2010

It's been a while since my last post and to be honest...that is a good thing!

Charlie is doing great...he is out and about visiting friends, playing golf, and running his endless lists of errands. I spoke with Kim the other day...she called just to tell me how great she thinks Charlie is doing...but she is still cautious. Charlie is scheduled for his next CAT scan on Thursday the 13th. This scan will be compared to his previous scan, which if you remember, showed drastic improvement!!! We are so hoping for another good report like that one!

In the meantime, Charlie has been on the recieving end of so much in the way of well wishes, paryers and food!! When I spoke with him the other day he told me his pant size is currently a size 34X32 and getting a little snug! His voice is also returning to its normal range since he is now being weaned off the steroids. While on the stroids his voice had a bit of a high pitch to it...almost breathless, now he has that deeper voice we are all use to hearing. He aslo told me that he got a buzz cut of the hair he had remaining. Now that chemo has stopped, he should start to see some regrowth shortly so with the buzz cut it should all grow in more evenly and be less noticable as being thin.

Prayers and well wished...well wishes and prayers!!!

Thank you all for both of can truely judge a person by how many of these gifts are bestowed upon them in the name of love.

So as Charlie would say...Chow!!!!