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Yeah, what’s for breakfast?  Does this shirt match these pants?  Should I take the parkway or just go the back way?  Comedy or drama?  Stay in the same job or follow a dream?  We have a million decisions to make in our lifetime, many of which greatly influence others.  Well, we are facing a big one.  Here are some parameters/details.

Rachel and Trey went to Philadelphia last week to check out the treatment options for Trey that they have there.  There is basically only one.  In a nutshell, where an MIBG scan illuminates his cancer to see where it is active, MIBG therapy fills him with 1,000x the radiation and attacks the cancer (and, in theory, only the cancer).  This is not curative.  It is not aimed at curing him.  It is just to extend his life and slow down the growth of his cancer.  Roughly 33% of the kids have the cancer shrink some, 33% see no new growth, and 33% see no impact at all from the treatment.  There are many protocols that need to be followed and pluses and minuses all over the place.

In summary, the benefit is Trey could…could live longer in nearly the same health level that he is now.  The certain drawback is it would be one week of intense (for our family as a whole…not just Trey) change and discomfort for us.  The potential drawbacks are: no positive results from the ordeal (again, around 33% chance), added risk of infection and general health concerns, potential for unknown side effects, blah blah blah.

In talking about this we sort, kind of, came to the conclusion that maybe we ought to proceed with the therapy.  It just seems like the next logical step.  It was then that Rachel said to me, “yeah…but didn’t we say that before the surgery (which very nearly took his life)?”  Good point and one I hadn’t really thought about.  Granted this is different in many ways.  With all that being said we still need to ask some more questions and get some more facts before we commit to a decision.

However, add in this observation/realization/truth.  Arguably every negative thing that Trey has endured over the past 3+ years is from the treatment FOR his cancer not FROM the cancer.  It can also be argued that none of the treatments he has received have done anything to thwart the cancer.  It may have, but there is nothing to overwhelmingly suggest that it is so.

So, it is our job to take all of these generalities and the specifics of this treatment and make…a decision.  A recent motto/guideline or ours is No Regrets.  Would we have more regrets if we didn’t do the treatment and he became “symptomatic” sooner than later?  Would our regrets be greater if we did the treatment and he just wasn’t the same ever again?  Mind you this is not nearly as potentially catastrophic as the surgery but there are many variables (some unknown) in play here.  In a way it’s almost a defeatist way to look at things but it’s my job to make sure we are all mentally healthy both now and for years to come.  Decisions.

So, we are praying.  We are talking.  We are seeking the counsel of others (oh, a very few others including our doctor here in Pittsburgh).  We are looking at it from as many different angles as possible.  What is best for Trey’s health?  What is best for Joe and Bella?  How upside down are we willing to make their lives…again?  Are we sure Rachel would be protected from all of this radiation?  Are we really?  Decisions.

So, please pray.  My next post will be on the topic of prayer and what we learned about it since Trey was diagnosed 3+ years ago.  A sneak peak into that post is hidden here…please pray.  Pray for what?  Well, that is up to you.  As far as we are concerned I suppose it would be for knowledge and wisdom.  Knowledge is understanding that a tomato is a fruit.  Wisdom is knowing that it doesn’t belong anywhere near a fruit salad.  So pray for both.

Thank you for continuing to be such a vital part of this journey.

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