Wednesday, January 27, 2010

01/26/10 - MRIs, Dr. Check-Up, Avastin 2.7

Posted 1/27. Laura and I spent most of the day a Moffitt yesterday, left the house at 9:45AM and got home around 9:15PM. Of course, that includes about 2 hours of commute time and a "lite" dinner that was around 45 minutes long. 11 1/2 - 2 - 3/4 = 8 3/4. Just 8 hours and 45 minutes at Moffitt... Not bad, considering the appointments I had.

The MRI below shows that my spinal tumor has grown since the last MRI (12/03/09). It had been slowly shrinking due to Avastin, but it appears Avastin may have "worn out its welcome." Seriously, it is likely (according to my doctors) that Avastin is less effective now because my tumor may have changed its biology (structure). Half-jokingly, the tumor must have a "brain" with enough intelligence to defeat Avastin.

MRI from 12/3/09 compared to MRI from 1/26/10, showing tumor growth

I also likely have a new tumor on my spine, as shown below. It is lower than my current one, which is also shown again for reference. Note, these are two MRI images, as one image does not capture both... Apparently, the new one "is just around the corner" from my existing one.

Existing tumor on left, potential new tumor on right

How to proceed. My doctors at Moffitt suggested radiation could be an option to destroy both tumors, but I will still need to take Avastin every two weeks. This morning, Laura made an appointment to see my Radiation Oncologist tomorrow at 3:30. We'll see what he suggests...

I received another dose of Avastin after my doctors went over my MRIs. It was again uneventful, and done so fast (I fell asleep) that we forgot to take a picture. So, we took one on the way out of the Infusion Center (that's the department that administers most of my chemo).

Me at Infusion Center waiting room, after receiving Avastin

A couple of things. First, apparently once somebody is "on" Avastin, they cannot stop taking it, for fear of a major outbreak (tumors everywhere). I did not know that prior to yesterday, and I don't like it! Second, although I did enjoy the time from October through now (almost 4 months), if I could go back, I would try to do more (not that I didn't do anything)... This comment is not meant to be interpreted negatively, but you never know what will happen next, and that applies to everyone... You should enjoy every day to its fullest!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there, don't give up hope!
I'm the mom of a 16 year old cancer patient who has been 'lurking' on your blog - hope you don't mind - and on Mr. Sock Monkey's blog in the last few weeks. I love your sense of humour and appreciate how brave you and your wife are to share your journey. We'll be keeping you in our prayers. Stay strong!

The Fahlman Family
Regina, SK. Canada

1/28/2010 2:34 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Mrs. Fahlman,
Thank you! Lurk all you want! It's meant to be informative to other patients, and I throw in some humor so it isn't so drab... I really appreciate your comment! Good luck and hope to your 16 year old as well!


1/28/2010 8:08 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Mark. Thinking about you guys from Norway. Tumors suck. Seriously. Make them rue the day that they messed with Mark Suter. Make them cry and crawl back to Mama. Whatever they've dished out, you have taken it and asked for more, please. No mercy.

1/28/2010 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mark,

Appreciate your prompt update on your treatment! Although the "news" is not all positive, the one thing about it is that you're being monitored quite well, and a new avenue of treatment will take place (whenever the doctors are ready to do so).

I'm also pleased to agree with the Canadian friend who offered such endouragement for you, as they are also keeping you in their prayers!!! And you thought your blog was a waste of time! No way, Jose!!! Keep it up!

As for Carson's statement.....all I can say is "DITTO, DITTO & DITTO"!!! That's my approach, too! It's time to take a big,deep breath and start "kicking ass" -- yep, your dad's cousin has said it like it is!!!!

Always keep the positiveness in your heart, your strong-will of brain power in action, and the doctors will continue with the rest! OF COURSE, then there's Sock Monkey who really controls all of your life, and I truly feel that is a very good thing! He knows best, Mark.... (Did I say that right, Velike?)

Love to you and Laura in continuing to make this venture take the correct course for healing and total health.

The Gregory Clan

1/28/2010 5:59 PM  
Blogger Big Monkey said...

Mary is so right about me. :) I try to make every human and sock monkey in my house enjoy some laughs each day. I take my role as sock clown pretty seriously.

1/28/2010 8:41 PM  
Blogger Mark said...


Thanks for the encouragement you always provide!

Have fun in Norway!


1/29/2010 8:54 AM  
Blogger Mark said...


Thanks! Yes, my doctors are doing a great job of monitoring and treating me! It isn't easy for them either...


1/29/2010 8:57 AM  

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