Monday, August 27, 2007

After several weeks of "routine" visits to Sloan every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, during which Toby received blood and platelet transfusions, underwent bone marrow aspirates and biopsies as well as other radiologic tests, today marked the beginning of the next phase of Toby's ordeal. Early this morning Toby had surgery on his neck. His surgeon, Dr. LaQuaglia, removed many diseased lymph nodes, which had failed to respond to five intensive cycles of chemo. Many of the nodes looked "strange," either the result of neuroblastoma and/or the chemo itself. Tonight, Toby is recovering at Sloan where he is a bit grumpy as a result of not being able to freely move his neck and because of the pain associated with the surgery. He is getting morphine every couple of hours. Despite this, Toby's primary team believes that he is ready to start chemo tomorrow and because Toby hasn't "seen" any chemo for about a month or so, the team doesn't want to delay any longer.

The chemo will consist of three agents, one new one that Toby hasn't gotten yet (topotecan) and two that he has received in prior cycles (cyclophosphamide and vincristine). Topotecan has been shown to be (moderately) effective in combination with the other two in neuroblastoma, and the hope is that Toby's remaining areas of disease (neck, shoulder, and possibly his leg) will respond favorably. The chemo will last five days and if all goes well, it will be followed by antibody (3F8) treatment and radiation. Toby can expect the usual assortment of unpleasant and upsetting side effects like mouth sores, nausea, vomiting, constipation and diarrhea, foot drop, and low blood counts. Hopefully, he'll weather this latest onslaught like the others without too much excitement (being a boring patient is always a good thing).

On the home front, Mooki, Stephen, and Yoni are transitioning to their new home at 19 Temple Court and are officially moving in on Saturday, Sept 1st. The movers took care of the majority of the belongings, but there are still quite a few "leftovers" at the current sublet at 66 1st Place which need to find their way to the new place on Friday, the 31st. Betsy, Stephen's sister in-law, is busy unpacking and arranging. If anyone is available to help unpack and/or move (i.e., drive) the remaining boxes, please call Betsy directly at (206) 300-5725.

Finally, because chemo will continue through Saturday, Toby and gang will be at Sloan everyday until then. Rather than having lunches delivered to their home, dropping them off to Mooki and Stephen at Sloan would be great.

So many of you have been an amazing source of support and inspiration. We are truly grateful and awed by your spirit and caring. Thank you.

Yoram




11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Yoram for the update which we have all been waiting and praying for the whole day through. We're going to bed now with visions of sweet Toby in our hearts and minds and with immense gratitude for today's outcome. God Bless our children and your family.
Merci and Bernie

Anonymous said...

Thank God that Toby got thru this 2nd surgery successfully. We have been praying for him all day, starting with Mass this morning, and ending with our prayer group tonite. We've been thinking about Betsy, too- there to help Steve and Mookie with moving, just as she helped Toby's great grandmother move out of her apartment last fall. This week will be tough, but we know Toby is a tough little guy! Our love to Mookie, Steve, Yoni, Yoram et al!
Aunt Blanche & Uncle John

LindaSueBuhl said...

Wonderful to hear this update - we've been praying for Toby. Nothing like having a lot on your life plate this week - just surgery, chemo and a move! You are blessed by your friends and family.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. We continue to hold Toby in our hearts. Wishing only the best for Toby and family.

Anonymous said...

California gal is so happy to see that the surgery is over and one more prayer has been answered.

Susan Nowak Zaslavsky said...

Thinking of all of you. Will jump on the meal schedule again next week when I figure out when we're available.

-- Susan, Aniella & Ina Zaslavsky

Anonymous said...

Toby and family have also been in my prayers. It's been an unbelievable four months from my spot in the distance. I hope and pray that this round of chemo is the last, and marks the "home stretch" to Toby's recovery.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking about you guys...hoping you are starting to settle into your new place and that Toby is recovering from surgery and chemo. Any chance you get some respite at home this week? Sending our love.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Toby (and Mookie, Stephen, & Yoni, too!),

I miss you and can't wait to see you in a couple of weeks. I'm leaving Los Angeles on Tuesday morning. I'll be back in New York by Rosh Hashanah. Sending strength, love, and prayers,

Randy

JoAnn said...

Hopefully by now the over is mostly over (are they ever really over??) and you have slept in your own beds in your new abode. We all pray that Temple Street brings the respite a temple should provide, and that you all continue to draw strenght from each other.

Anonymous said...

It's been a little while. We're thinking of you and hoping everyonee is doing well.