Firstly thank-you Sylvia and Fred for starting up this page for John. This page is of huge encouragement to us. Thank-you to all who are donating, praying and helping us along this difficult journey! We feel blessed to have so many friends and brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus who care for us. It is a powerful reminder that we are part of a much larger body of believers! May His Church will be built up in faith and love for one another. We long for everyone to know the true joy that comes from having their sins forgiven and being at peace with our Creator.
Along with you we are praying that God will preserve John to us for some time yet - by whatever means He chooses.
In the meantime we live out the journey that is set out for us. Each day of life and strength is a gift, but also a reminder that our days are numbered. John had his second infusion of Irinotecan on Monday and we got to see the oncologist who administers Avastin - the unfunded treatment. Statistically, Avastin combined with the Irinotecan raises the chances of slowing down tumour growth by 10%, on average. Not a huge percentage but then we are working with low percentages already. We are just thankful that God is not limited by statistics! Bell curves have outliers ... and in fact the oncologist said that he has two patient still alive 2 years later. We also got some good news - the first infusion will be free. Successive infusions will be costly –adding up to a potential total near $50,000 if it continues successful in stopping the cancer growth. Fortunately, we will not have to pay this all at once as we should know if the drug is working after a few cycles. We will provide updates as we find out whether or not the treatment is proving effective.
The oncologist also gave us some less-good news. John’s cancer is a particularly difficult cancer to treat as evidenced by the still very small number of treatments available to him. We learned that the clinical trial we were exploring would be much less likely to be of benefit to John. However, cancer research is taking place in many countries, and many new trials involving immunotherapy drugs and personalized neo-antigen vaccines are underway, although few in NZ. It is an exciting field of medicine, and we will be keeping our eyes open for new developments.
Thank-you all again for your love and support.
John and Antoinette