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Family visits and an update.

Today looks to be family visit day as nieces and nephews continue to arrive.  You can see below we are asking everyone to sign the “Don’t EVER Give Up” shirt.   He’s doing well and is currently resting between visits.

We also had a physician rotation today as we won’t be seeing Dr. Karp again until Dad is ready for chemotherapy.  He is still Dad’s primary doctor but one of his partners is taking over day-to-day duties.  We also learned that he will be discharged when his radiation on his lower back is finished, possibly later this week.

Dr. Daniel Karp

Dad’s primary oncologist is Dr. Daniel Karp.  He is extremely qualified as a graduate of Harvard and Duke Medical.  He is a Thoracic professor and medical director of the Clinical Translational Research Center at M.D. Anderson (He develops and trials new drugs).  As if his work as the number one lung cancer doctor in the nation (Women’s Magazine) and the leading overall cancer doctor in Texas wasn’t enough, he is also a professional jazz pianist.  I’ll let you read his credentials for yourself in the links below.

M.D. Anderson faculty page

Rexanna’s Foundation

Divas Board of Directors – Music

Standard Fare – One of his released albums

Medical Record Database and Information Technology

Status Update

Here is where we are.  After weeks of back and forth between the V.A. in Alexandria and local G.P.s we are at back at M.D. Anderson in Houston after many years of being cancer free.  The diagnosis is stage IV Lung Cancer with bone metastases in various parts of the skeletal system (fig. 1). The 3rd and 8th rib as well as the right pelvis and the upper right femur show signs of metastasis.  The L1 lumbar metastasis is of upmost concern at the moment and has already had 2 days of radiation treatment to relieve pressure on the spinal cord that was causing weakness in the right leg.  Dad is under instructions not to bear weight on the right leg due to possible weakening of the bone and danger of fracture.

(fig. 1) – Each number corresponds with an area of tumor.  Number 1 being the primary Lung tumor measuring 3.7 x 1.8 cm (1.46 x 0.70 inches). The area shaded to the upper right of the tumor is the part the upper left lobe that has collapsed due to pressure from the tumor.  Number 2 represents evidence of local spread to lymph nodes.

The cancer in the bone was also responsible for Dad’s severe hypercalcemia which caused confusion, stiffness, severe fatigue and a host of other problems.  The calcium in the blood was the reason for his admission as inpatient and has been corrected and thus his cognition and motor function has vastly improved.

We were also provided with a graphic from Dr. Karp on July 2nd. (fig. 2)

(fig. 2)

The 5th of July the team will gather and decide how to proceed with radiation on the pelvis and femur metastasis.  Dad will have to get healthier and stronger before chemotherapy can begin for the primary tumor in the left upper lobe of the lung.   He has already improved greatly compared to when he was first admitted and is mostly back to his old self minus being weak from being unable to move and function for a couple weeks.

More updates coming as needed…

Great T-Shirt

Here is a shirt Traci and I picked for Dad.

Front

Back

Video of Dad’s room

Welcome

This is the first post of the blog created to keep friends and family updated on Herman Armer’s battle with his recent diagnosis of lung cancer. I will post updates frequently about his treatments and well-being.

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