This past Friday, Dallas and I went down to Shands for his PET scan. PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans are used to examine the effects of cancer therapy by characterizing biochemical changes in the cancer. The procedure is much like an MRI sans the noise.
While we were there, I talked with Dallas' doctor and we discussed the merit of clinical trials that Dallas currently qualifies for. Clinical trials have specific parameters that a potential patient must meet in order to be considered for enrollment. Dallas' doctor feels strongly that he needs several agents (drugs) working together to combat his tumor. We are considering more surgery which could benefit Dallas in several ways: 1. Surgery would confirm whether this is new tumor growth or effects caused by his previous radiation treatment 2. Surgery would provide a current biopsy and diagnosis which would aid in determining the best treatment options and possibly open more doors in the clinical trial world. 3. The less tumor the better!
Meanwhile, Dallas' Aunt Cissy had tried to arrange for some of the UF football players to visit with Dallas while we were there. The football team was busy (no doubt preparing for the national championship game against Ohio State). However, Dwayne Thomas, a former UF player who played on the '96 UF national championship team (some of you might remember this game-UF beat FSU in a rematch) came to meet with Dallas. Dwayne is currently one of the chaplin's for the football team. He is a warm, caring, loving individual who's smile instantly captivates. Of course, he and Dallas talked football and Dwayne let Dallas inspect his championship ring. Dwayne shared with us that his youngest daughter also has a brain tumor, an astrocytoma, the same as Dallas. The doctor who performed surgery on Dwayne's daughter is the same doctor that did Dallas' biopsy and placed his shunt. He would also be the doctor who would operate on Dallas now if we opt for more surgery. Dwayne's daughter is doing well; happy, healthy and back in school. Before we parted, Dwayne prayed with us, offered encouragement and gave us each a bear hug. What a wonderful man! I believe that God speaks to us through others and I know without a doubt the circumstance of our meeting was not a coincidence....it was Grace.
We should hear today on the results of the PET scan and hopefully make a decision on our next course of action.
Much love to all!