The one with a thursday update

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Thursday, December 5, 2013
The weather was crazy warm today which allowed me to dress Perry in one of his Christmas shortalls. Perry spent the day with Julia, while both Andrew and I worked. Tonight Perry and I went over to the Eckleys for dinner and to hang out for a while. I also picked up our Christmas cards today from the photographer and I LOVE them. I can't wait to get them addressed (actually I am not looking forward to that particular task) and sent out to everyone.

Over dinner we all went around describing the best and worst parts of our day. The unanimous best part was the news that dad/granddaddy got at MD Anderson.

Gary and Ann have spent the week in Houston at MD Anderson for a bunch of tests and consultations. While they did not wrap up appointments with a clear diagnosis or set in stone plan for the months ahead, they are leaving with one very bad diagnosis "ruled out." The pancreas biopsies he had on Tuesday came back clear of cancer. The exact site of origin is still to be determined, or may never be determined since things tend to get increasingly ambiguous on a cellular level after chemo. They are headed home on Saturday and plan to continue with the current chemo beginning next week as long as it continues to work well. The best news of the day was the discussion of other treatment options that may be options when the current chemo has done all it can. Praise the Lord.

One concrete thing they found out about this mysterious cancer is that wherever it came from, it harbors a BRAF gene mutation (not an inherited mutation, but one that only resides in the cancer cells). BRAF acts kind of like a gas pedal for a cell increasing its ability to grow. The good news is that there are drugs that can target BRAF mutations which may be good options in the future. Yay genetics.

Perry had a blast hanging out with his cousins tonight. I think he could follow Ben around all day. We were able to get them all still on the sofa long enough to snap one picture.

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