- They will do a new set of scans in about 3 weeks after Dad has healed from the RK surgery. This will give him a new starting point to know exactly what we are dealing with. A radiologist who specializes in cancer will take new measurements.
- In the next couple of weeks we will choose the drug of choice to start his treatment. Once the scans are over we will start treatment.
- Success is measured by stability. If the tumors aren't growing, that equals success. If they shrink - that is great.
- Dr. Baltz's drug of choice is Sutent. He has 6 patients on it currently and 2 are doing very well, 2 are doing well and 2 are doing ok. I asked what "ok" means and he said "the tumors are stable." So that's good news.
- There is a new drug coming out next week that might also be a possibility. We've got lots of decisions. Baltz said there are too many choices but that's not always a bad thing.
- No need to biopsy the lung mets and put Dad through that because it won't change the course of treatment.
- Interlukin 2 or whatever it's called makes you feel like you have the "nuclear flu" and the other drugs are more successful with fewer side effects. Izzy Stephens (Gray's) is currently on IL2 and we all know she had some rough days.
We all agree that we like Dr. Baltz. He had the right amount of humor and knowledge and we all felt good after talking with him. He listened to all our questions and repeated some stuff for me since I have horrible listening skills (probably genetic from Carrot and Purple Hull). He also said that most of the stuff we are reading on the Internet is old and that RCC drugs have come a long way this year. He told Dad they'd meet in his office when he's all healed from surgery and "the next time I see you wear a manlier outfit."
OKW update: he got his bandages and the tubes sticking out of his neck removed. He has one gnarly scar.
He's ready for some Key Lime Pie. Nurse Nancy II said it sounds like pudding to her (one of the first foods he'll get.)