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Friday, June 6, 2014

I've been bad about updating the blog mostly because I'm not super happy with Google blog. It doesn't always allow people to comment and it's inconsistent in how it notifies people of updates. Therefore, it doesn't seem as convenient or as useful as it was when we first started on this health adventure. I'm going to switch Scott's updates over to email. If you would like to be included in email updates, send me an email at pamela.j.reeder@gmail.com. Scott's email address is onion4abeggar@gmail.com.

Thank you all for the support. We are so grateful for every day.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

This is Scott having a blast in 18-inch surf on a G-Mat crafted by Graeme Webster.

Another long break between updates, but no news is good news. Yesterday, Scott had an MRI of his head to rule out any pituitary tumors. We should get the results tomorrow.

Scott has really enjoyed getting back to normal life. Recently we were reflecting on all we've been through over the last eight months and he said, "I'm just so grateful right now. I just did not imagine eight months ago that I would be doing what I'm doing today." And he's been doing a lot. He's back to working part-time, gardening full-time and surfing a ton. We also just had a super-fun spring break with Scott's sister and our nephew. Addison likes to go, go, go so we went, went, went to the beach, hiking and to SeaWorld.

Scott was also interviewed recently for a great UK-based surf website (www.ukmatsurfers.com). During his chemo and post-surgery fog, Scott said it was hard to imagine being able to write again. But he got a great opportunity to express himself through this interview. He did most of it in waiting rooms, and as you'll see by the length of the piece, we did a lot of waitin'. California surf legend/scribe Ken McKnight nicely captures Scott in his intro. We are so grateful to Ken and hilarious Englishman/mat maker Graeme Webster, who runs the site. Scott also wants to thank cinematographer Tim Ciasto for sharing his talents (and the wave featured in the video short!)

Here's the link:

www.ukmatsurfers.com/scott-reeder/

Ken McKnight in the sweet spot — and aiming for Peter St. Pierre!



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

We saw our oncologist at Cedars today and discussed the options of surgery of the pancreas and radiation of the chest. After looking at all the reports, he looked up and said "Here's what I think you should do ... Go live your life, work, surf." Since the radiation is not likely to offer much benefit and has the potential of causing great harm, he wants us to skip it. He also does not believe the surgery on the pancreas is the best choice right now. 

His plan is to have Scott continue the monthly Sandostatin injections, which help to keep these types of tumors from growing. To monitor tumor growth Scott will have a CT scan of the chest and an MRI of his abdomen every three months. He will also have an MRI of the brain in the next couple of weeks to rule out any pituitary tumors. 

If the tumors grow, then the oncologist would like for Scott to get a targeted radiation treatment only available in Europe and Houston, Texas. This treatment is only offered through clinical trials in the U.S. and is quite costly, so it is our hope that Scott can do well on the Sandostatin. When the treatment wins FDA approval it will be covered by insurance. That's a bridge to cross in the future. 

We are so happy to have a break from treatments and surgeries. Scott is enjoying being back at work, surfing, gardening and chasing after the little boy.

Friday, March 14, 2014

We had a consultation with a surgeon yesterday. Scott has two small tumors in the pancreas. The surgeon thinks he can remove both of them by removing about 3/4 of Scott's pancreas. The tumors are not in the head of the pancreas, which is a more difficult surgery. Since the pancreas is responsible for insulin production, the surgeon said there would be a chance that Scott would become diabetic. But he said there was an 80 percent chance that what is left of the pancreas would do the job of insulin production. But he also said there's a very high probability that another tumor would grow in what's left of the pancreas. Another difficult decision. We are waiting to talk to the oncologist at Cedars next Wednesday before deciding what to do.

Monday, March 10, 2014

This morning Scott had an internal ultrasound of his pancreas that revealed more about the newest tumor. It's small (1.5 cm x 1 cm) and right in the middle of the pancreas. The gastrointestinal doctor who did the procedure seems to think it's in a good location for surgery. We will see the surgeon Thursday to find out more.

Last week we met with the radiation oncologist. We discussed the possibility of radiating what's left of the tumor in Scott's chest. This will be a difficult decision as it is not expected to be curative and the risks are pretty great. The surgery was risky, but not doing the surgery was even riskier. So it was an easy decision. To have any benefit, the doses of radiation would have to be very high. And doing radiation so close to the heart can lead to really undesirable consequences such as heart attack or heart failure. So we have a big decision to make.

Before any plans are put in place regarding surgery or radiation we will see the Cedars Sinai oncologist. We have an appointment next week.

Since it's Lent, we have embraced an attitude of "giving up" worry. While it's not terribly easy to do this, we're also tired of living life under a constant threat of cancer and of what is to come. We're moving on with our lives and dealing with the cancer as we must. We're making plans again and looking forward to some upcoming weekend trips out of town and a spring break visit from Scott's sister and our nephew. We're also enjoying the warm, beautiful days of late. Well, Scott is enjoying the beautiful days. I'm mostly just sweating a lot while I sledgehammer the back patio. Scott has decided that now is a good time to take out the old concrete. He tried sledgehammering it himself (not a good idea after getting his chest opened up), then declared it seemed more like "women's work" and handed the heavy instrument to me. It turns out that hitting concrete over and over is pretty therapeutic. It sure is good to be alive!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

We had such a nice day today. Scott got in the water again. I loved watching him enjoy himself. We're hoping that the next round of treatments (surgery, radiation, etc.) won't keep him out of the water too much. Six months without his daily salt-water baptism is a long time for a dedicated ocean lover.

I will continue to post updates here as we hear news regarding another surgery, etc. We hope to learn more next week.