Update #13 on Barry Northcutt
December 1st, 2018 News No Comments

Today, I took Dad to his second appointment with the melanoma specialist.  The doctor was again very professional and caring as we discussed the next steps to be taken.  The two treatment options before us are either chemotherapy or immunotherapy.  Chemo is the more “traditional” treatment but has a lower positive response rate when used with melanoma.  Immunotherapy is a newer break-through in cancer treatment and has a higher positive reponse when used to treat melanoma.  Both the doctor and mom and dad want to pursue the immunotherapy option if at all possible.

The problem that we are facing (as we mentioned in a previous update) is that Dad’s high levels of steroid medicine will counteract the immunotherapy, so he needs to taper those down to a much lower level before he can even start the treatments.  Dad had already started to taper off of the steroids last Sunday, but today the doctor put Dad on a very aggressive two-week taper to try to get the steroids down to an acceptable treatment level quickly.

Please pray with us as Dad tries to work off of these steroids.  Since the steroids were prescribed in order to control some of the symptoms, (headaches, swelling on the brain, etc.) it is unknown how Dad’s body will respond and how he will be able to handle this reduction.  Please pray that the pain and headaches and other symptoms would remain under control throughout this process so that he can come off of these steroids and begin treatment as soon as possible.

Dad’s next appointment with the melanoma specialist is scheduled for December 14.

Thank you again for all of your prayers, notes of encouragement and phone calls.  It truly means a lot to each one of us.

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