Thank you again so much for your prayers!! Still our biggest request is for Meredith's MRI to be clean. The MRI is scheduled for Friday Sept 5 at 10 am. For so many reasons, we need this to come back all clear. Selfishly, I'll also request prayer that we get results back SOON as it always seems to take a few days for what seems like results that should be read right away - but maybe I'm just impatient.
There are still a few ifs/whens to be determined regarding exactly which kind of medicine Meredith will be taking and where she will get it. There is a very promising drug still in trial stages but soon to be approved by the FDA. They are testing it at UCLA, but currently no spots are available for Meredith. There is a possibility that a spot may open up at the end of this week, but Meredith's brain scan must be clear in order for her to be eligible to participate. Again, this clinical trial is the only way to get this new medicine until the FDA approves it (which will hopefully happen this fall). Again, PLEASE PRAY for MRI to be all clear on Friday.
Even if she doesn't get into this clinical trial with the new drug, there is another drug available now that has had success in slowing the growth of metastatic melanoma. It is called Yervoy. Several people have asked about chemotherapy, but that is not really effective against melanoma and not an option for Meredith. From what I understand, the yervoy has a pretty low occurrence of miserable side effects, so that is a plus! The yervoy can also be taken in conjunction with the new drug that will hopefully be approved this fall.
Until yervoy was approved three years ago, there was no drug effectively treating melanoma, so we are thankful for new developments! The prognosis for metastatic melanoma is not good - doctors say 14 months on average. We know statistics apply to the masses and not to individuals, and the doctors are encouraged that her masses have been slow to grow and she is still feeling very well. We also know that the Maker of heaven and earth holds Meredith in His hands, and there is no bigger comfort than that. He doesn't care about statistics and can do anything He wants.
Starting next week, Meredith will go every three weeks for treatment. She will go either to UCLA (she will definitely go there if she can get into the clinical trial) or possibly somewhere closer to family in Mississippi to get yervoy treatments. It is an IV drug, so she can go get a treatment in a day and then return home after that. After four treatments (12 weeks), she will have another scan to see how she is responding to the medicine. The doctors hope that this medicine will shrink the existing spots and prevent any new spots from occurring. Wouldn't that be a wonderful report to have at Thanksgiving??
For now, please continue to pray. Most pressing issues:
1. Clean brain scan!! MRI Friday at 10 am.
2. For Meredith to get into clinical trial
3. For her body to respond to treatment
Again, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your prayers! We will update again whenever we have MRI results.