Jennifer Goodman Linn You Fearless

‘Health Update – Could be Better, Could Be Worse’

Hi Friends! It’s Dave here, your Fearless Guest Blogger. Here’s the post-surgery update (written on Tues night 9/14/10). We’ll try to post some photos, etc later in the week.

First, thanks for all the great family pictures, inspirational song suggestions, and love & support! They are really making a difference and keeping a smile on Jen’s face (yes, my lovely wife is still smiling even today…especially after she presses the button to get a dose of pain meds!)

Coming into the surgery today, we didn’t know exactly what to expect. The last couple chemotherapy regimens haven’t done the job so we knew that even if they removed all the tumors today, there was a high probability that the cancer would return.

Therefore, even though we were hopeful that today’s surgery would be a positive step in the fight, we all knew that at some point we’d still need to find a medication to kill the cancer cells or keep them from growing. In this vein, you might have heard Jen mention an upcoming clinical trial of 2 targeted chemotherapy medications that we’re hoping will do the trick.

Getting back to today, when they opened Jen up, the doctors saw more tumors than expected. None of the tumors appeared to present an immediate risk to her survival. They removed a couple for study in the lab, but they quickly determined that trying to remove them all would be complex and risky because it would require removing significant portions of intestine, bladder, etc. Even if they were successful, it would result in a very tough recovery, which would make it more difficult to start on the new medications in the clinical trial.

Therefore, rather than doing a risky surgery with questionable reward, the doctors decided that the best plan was to stitch Jen back up and get her ready as soon as possible for the trial.

This news was concerning and certainly took some time to digest. But after doing so, we realized that we’d be in a similar position whether or not they successfully removed all the current tumors – either way, we still need to find a medication to keep these cancer cells in check.

Since the surgery wasn’t too invasive, the recovery shouldn’t be extremely difficult, although Jen of course will be in quite a bit of pain for a while.

As we all know, plans can change, but our current thinking is that Jen will get a dose of traditional chemotherapy in the next 2 weeks and then start in the clinical trial as soon as possible (probably in 4 weeks).

I know you might have questions, but the above is basically what we know. We’ll try to keep you informed as we know more, but for now, let’s focus on the recovery, and let’s not bother Jen with detailed medical questions unless she brings them up with you.

Some of you asked how you can best help us. I think the best thing for all of you and for all of us is to stay positive, be strong, and of course live without fear! - DL