Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I'd Like to Be Thanked Herbally....

Back to the G rated image... I don't want the feds paying a visit !

The Wife said...
We are back!!!!!!

I want to thank weezy and one day at a time for a wonderful and exciting three day in Laughlin. It was great spending time together.

I've never seen Marco at he slots for a long period of time like i did these past three days. It was nice to see him enjoying the slots and not just putting a 20 in the machine and walking away 3 seconds later saying nada.

we appreciate everything everyone has given to us emotionally, personally, spiritually, herbally, metally and finacially...like Marco said we don't know how we are going to repay all that has been given to us from all of the family.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts

7:57 PM

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Laughlin Looks Better from the Ground Up!

Desert sand and cold streams, fake beaches and syrupy margaritas while connected to slot machines, I know you guys will have fun either way! Great way to celebrate Marco's last radiation appointment today! Have fun!

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Research that Determined it's a No-Go for Marco's Chemo

Adjuvant Chemotherapy Shows No Advantage in Sarcoma, Trabectedin Shows Promise

July 19, 2007 — The largest-ever study of adjuvant chemotherapy in resected soft-tissue sarcoma has failed to show a survival advantage. Patients who underwent intensive treatment with ifosfamide and doxorubicin did not have significantly better outcomes than patients who were followed with observation only, European researchers told the recent American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 43rd Annual Meeting, in Chicago, Illinois.

The results were presented at the meeting by Penella Woll, MD, PhD, from the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, on behalf of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Soft Tissue and Bone Sarcoma Group. The trial involved 351 patients, but 9.5% were ineligible and 4.8% did not receive the allocated treatment, Dr. Woll reported. Patients in both groups of the study underwent radiotherapy if the resection was marginal or if the tumor had recurred. Chemotherapy involved 5 cycles of doxorubicin 75 mg/m2, ifosfamide 5 g/m2 every 21 days, and lenograstim. Of the 175 patients allocated to chemotherapy, 163 started and 127 completed 5 cycles, and 38% had dose reductions or delays, mostly for hematological toxicity or infection.

An interim analysis was performed because survival in the control group was better than expected based on what had been seen in previous studies, Dr. Woll told the meeting. She speculated that this improved survival may be due to better surgery and increased use of adjuvant radiotherapy in this trial compared with those conducted in the past.

Estimated 5-year relapse-free survival was 52% in both groups, and overall survival was 69% in the observational group vs 64% in the chemotherapy group (hazard ratio (HR), 0.621 for both). Thus, the hypothesis that adjuvant chemotherapy improves survival can be rejected, Dr. Woll concluded.

Commenting on this study during a "Highlights-of-the-day" session during the meeting, Robert Maki, MD, PhD, from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in New York, said that the study showed no advantage for adjuvant chemotherapy. "If there is an advantage to using chemo, it is very small and should be discussed on an individual patient basis."

Experimental New Drug Trabectedin Shows Promise

"We are still looking for better drugs to treat sarcoma," Dr. Maki commented, and he suggested that 1 new contender may be trabectedin (ET-743, Yondelis, PharmaMar/Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development). He highlighted a study presented at the ASCO meeting in which trabectedin showed clinical benefit in patients with liposarcoma and leiomyosarcoma (L-sarcomas) who had failed on conventional cytotoxics. "When compared with historical controls, the results indicate activity for this novel compound," Dr. Maki commented, although he added that the response rate was low.

Trabectedin is an experimental drug, based on a compound originally found in the sea squirt, which is being developed for use in sarcomas as well as ovarian and prostate cancers. The product is awaiting approval in Europe for use in sarcomas and has orphan-drug designation in both Europe and the United States for use in sarcomas as well as in ovarian cancer.

The study presented at the ASCO meeting was a phase 2 trial sponsored by the manufacturers, involving 270 patients, all of whom had progressive L-sarcomas despite treatment with anthracyclines and ifosfamide and additional agents in the majority of cases. The trial compared 2 regimens of trabectedin, given either as 1.5 mg/m2 by intravenous (IV) infusion over 24 hours every 3 weeks (24-hour group) or 0.58 mg/m2 by IV infusion over 3 hours given weekly (3-hour group) in a 28-day cycle.

The results favored the 3-hour-infusion administration schedule. In a protocol-specified primary analysis, this 3-hour group had a statistically significant 27% reduction in the risk for disease progression (HR, 0.734; P = .0302). The median time to progression in this group was 3.7 months, vs 2.3 months in the 24-hour group. Secondary end points included median progression-free survival, which was 3.3 months in the 3-hour group vs 2.3 months in the 24-hour group (HR, 0.755; P = .0418), and median survival, which was 13.8 months vs 11.8 months (HR, 0.823; P = .1984), respectively.

The researchers concluded that both dosing regimens were efficacious, but "there appears to be superior disease control" with the 3-hour-infusion regimen. They also commented that the 3-hour-infusion schedule was associated with "somewhat more neutropenia and transaminitis without clinical consequences," and no cumulative toxicities were apparent in either group. In a press release, PharmaMar commented that this study confirms the safety profile of trabectedin, with transaminase elevations, emesis, and fatigue being the most common adverse events reported.

Zosia Chustecka for Medscape

American Society for Clinical Oncology 43rd Annual Meeting: Abstracts 10008 and 10060. Presented June 4 and June 3, 2007.

NOTE: The presentation at the ASCO conference will be available to public in September. I'll post it when its available!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Do I dare?

Yes, I dare. I've been trying to get you guys nice shirts but can't seem to find the right ones, or any for sarcoma. So I decided to design some. Well, I need your help. They are pretty wacky... Will Machin have nightmares over the mini-sarcoma devils... or the punching glove trying to impale them?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

HA! Take that Chemo!!

Well, I think Marco's a little sad he's not going to get to wear this t-shirt. But I think we're all glad his oncology team decided not to go through with the chemo. Chemo sucks butt! Based on recent findings presented at the ASCO cancer conference in Chicago, chemotherapy does not work well against sarcomas like Marco's. Check out the story in the side bar. Well, it's a good thing and a bad thing. The upside is that Marco doesn't have to put his body through these toxic treatments at this point in time. The downside is that there is always that sense of doubt, that what if about the positive effects of chemo's cancer blasting abilities. But if 300 people in Europe with sarcoma didn't benefit from it, then I think chemo can wait, and Marco can put this t-shirt on hold... For the meantime, let's keep our eyes on our distant cousin of the sea, the lovely Sea Squirt, who may hold some answers for sarcoma treatments in the form of the new drug Trabectidin or Yondelis as it's called in Europe. I can't wait for more studies and for its approval in the U.S.! For now, there is hope if the drug is needed, with clinical trials available as close as Santa Monica. Remember, these are still experimental drugs. For now, let's just breathe in a while and enjoy the downtime, especially your ding*ding*ding*slot time in the desert ;).

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Another Groovy Track from the Magic Man...

FROM cancer sucks said...
YEAH!! today is #25 and we have 10 more to go! Yes!

Now we start on the boosters on 1 dose after 5 we go 2 doses and that is it for radiation.

So far the Marco has done great with all the radiation and the doctor saw him today and says everything looks good.

So two more weeks of radiation an ending of Chapter 2 in this obstacle course of life (or journey if that is what you want to call it but a journey should be something you enjoy doing and that is not what we like to do).

I am glad it turned out great and not as bad as it could have been.

God is look'n out for you kid!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Scored Everything on the Wishlist?

I hope Moshura got everything he wished for on his birthday!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Marco!!!

Silly Birthday Jokes:

Q: What did the birthday balloon say to the pin?
A: "Hey, Buster."

Q: What did the big candle say to the little candle?
A: "You're too young to go out."

Q: What does a clam do on his birthday?
A: He shellabrates!

Q: What do you say to a cow on its birthday?
A: Happy Birthday to Moo!

Knock Knock!
Who's there?
Marco who?
Marco your calendars... today is Moshura's Birthday!!!

Monday, July 9, 2007

A Great Weekend in California...

Well this weekend was really nice.

Surviving 3 out of 5 came up this weekend and she invited Marco and all of us to Hesperia Lake for the evening.

SaltnPepper's other half set a fishing pole for Marco and he hesitated at first, he didn't want to cast it out in the lake then he decided what the hell here it goes no one had to hold his hand behind his back.

Marco threw the first cast of the evening out. I was nice to see Marco toss that pole out the lake.

He did mention he might be ready soon to go out deep sea fishing in a couple of months he said.

Sorry to say no one caught any fish that night but we all enjoyed an evening at the lake.

Marco said he may go on Wednesday to see if he could catch something will see what happens he caught all of our attention when he said that. That is a good sign.

Check out the pics!
-Cancer Sucks aka The Wife

Taca Taca la Petaca!

I have no idea what it means to taca-taca-la petaca but it sure is funny! Ahhh, Spanish childhood tv. What is scarier is that, once upon a time, we may have identified with one or all of these characters!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Marco's Radiation Live!

I think this deserves front page posting:

Today was #21 and all went well, we got to COH 1/2 before our appointment and they called him in right away, it took 1/2 before he came out this time because they took some xray film to prepare for the boost next week.

Well we had to hurry home because I had therapy, got home in time to eat and for me to leave.

Well, I had to leave the house and I told Marco why don't you take me to the therapy place and then you can go run some errands and pick me up when your done.

He said no, that is ok we will wait till you come home and then we can all go together.

When I was on my way home I called the house and told DLP to get ready to leave. She says we did all the errands already. (What!) She said yeah we all ready did everything. I didn't think much about it and went home.

As I opened the door the first thing I noticed was that he had someone cut his hair. OMG!

I couldn't believe it Mr. Hot Shot had it all planned out,he was so sneaky.

I told him he had to tell me where they were going just in case anything happened.

Well he said he told me but I bet it was under his breath cause I am sure I would of heard something. So had taken the truck to go run the errands.

DLP said she asked "Are you sure? Daddy". "Are you sure you can do this?" Machini then says ( in a calm voice) "Momma my daddy was driving today."
I told him "Oh yeah, How did he do?"
he says "Um, good um,huh yeah he did good."

Anyway, that was another amazing day here in the desert. Marco dosen't stop surprising me.

I love you honey!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

July Already!?

Hope you all had a great July 4th in that Southern Cali heat. It's been hot and humid and yesterday there was a tornado warning! Wahh? Pecos Bill in D.C.? People were asked to evacuate to local museums and had to go through security checkpoints all over again. Must have been a madhouse! Good thing I had a great view of the fireworks from my livingroom window. Hope you got the video on your cell.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What is Radiation Therapy?

Radiation is a form of energy and is everywhere in the atmosphere. Microwaves zap your food with radiation. The sun heats the earth through radiation. And radiation makes it possible to see broken bones through x-rays. Radiation is also used to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors. In a nutshell, radiation destroys the genetic material that cancer cells use to reproduce. Without the code needed to multiply, cancer cells eventually shrink and die off. The machines used to target cancer cells must be extremely precise to prevent damage to surrounding healthy cells. Radiation can also be applied inside the body using seeds and pellets about the size of a grain of rice and made out of radioactive material which are placed on or near the cancer site. Moshura's radiation is a targeted external radiation therapy using high energy rays to shrink any cancer cells surrounding the area where the tumor was removed from his leg. I imagine the machine used for his radiation is similar to the one in the video above. They can tell you more about it. I think the video provides a good visual of what it may be like. Above is one man's experience during radiation treatment of his brain tumor.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

It's a Bird... It's a Plane!

It's Super Marco!! Somehow, Superman manages to give the Monsters a run for their money, save the girl, and get justice for the bad guy. Maybe I can fit the cancer battle as a metaphor in this superhero classic? Don't think it's a stretch? Moshura, you do look good in blue, I dunno about the tights and cape though...