Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Good Cause

Wow, where did May go? Before I go into the Carly update I first wanted to thank everyone again for their support of the Bay Area Brain Tumor Walk. Team Carly raised $11,045 this year adding to the incredible efforts over the last four years. It was great seeing everyone out in Golden Gate Park, and we felt the support of all of you who couldn’t be there in person. The money that this event raises really is making a difference in research for a cure for brain tumors. A few weeks after the walk I had lunch with one of the directors from the National Brain Tumor Society and she told me a story of a recent drug trial at a biotech company in San Diego that was funded in part by NBTS. In this trial, which is still ongoing, they are finding success in treating a type of brain tumor (GBM) using oncolytic virus therapy. This concept uses live viruses to selectively infect and replicate in cancer cells, with minimal destruction to surrounding tissue. While the concept of using live viruses to infect and destroy tumors dates back to nearly over a century, advances in molecular biology and virology have accelerated development recently. Knowing that our fundraising is going directly to this type of work is very rewarding and shows how Carly (through all of you) is making a difference in brain tumor research!

The last few weeks have been very up and down for Carly. It took several days after the last surgery before she started to feel like herself, which isn’t too unusual these days. She then had several days where she was doing really well with some really productive therapy sessions. After a few of these good days she started to go downhill a bit and she still has not gotten back to feeling her best. By last Sunday her seizures had really increased and she had close to 20 that day which left us wondering if a shunt surgery was around the corner. Since Sunday her seizures have gone down a lot, and she has only had one today. We have been pumping the reservoir on her shunt more to force flow which may be making the difference, but it is a tricky balancing act between pumping too much and too little. Needless to say it is frustrating that she has to go through this, but it has been good to see her feeling a bit better over the course of this week. We’ll be keeping a close eye on her, as always, over the next few days to try to figure out what changes we should be making. Thanks for keeping her in your thoughts and prayers.

Love, Brad

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thirty One

It was a busy week and I didn't get a chance to post a picture from the walk and thank everyone for their support. It was a beautiful day and very inspirational to see so many people out for this important cause. I'll post more on that soon.

Carly has been showing signs of shunt failure for awhile now but we were able to put off surgery for almost a week. She was doing pretty well and had a particularly good therapy session on Wednesday but that took a quick turn last night, when she woke up around 2am in a lot of pain. She was hard to settle down for the next four hours and it was clear that the shunt was to blame. We called neurosurgery and surgery was scheduled for 2pm. Dr. Gupta found a clog in the ventricular catheter which he replaced. Carly has had a smooth recovery so far and she got a nice room overlooking the Marin headlands and Golden Gate Bridge which is a nice change from our last few visits. She is resting next to me now as we listen to some music on her travel speakers, and I expect she will be discharged and sent home tomorrow morning.

Love, Brad