Up until this past week, Chip had been feeling pretty fantastic. Then, on Tuesday, he felt like he was getting a head cold or sinus infection. By Friday evening, he was feeling better cold-wise, but a cough was still present. He was more fatigued and started feeling short of breath. Saturday, he tried to exercise and quickly became short of breath. Sunday, we tried to stroll with the kids, the shortness of breath reoccurred, and Chip had to sit down several times to rest.
We exchanged emails with Dr. B, his oncologist at Johns Hopkins, and she instructed us to discontinue chemo and be seen first thing Monday. Chip had a physical with Dr. D Monday morning, and we are now at Virginia Hospital Center.
Chip has pleural effusion (fluid around both lungs) and pericardial effusion (about 500 ccs of fluid around the heart instead of the usual 15-50 MLs). He is having a surgical procedure called a pericardial window at noon today (Tuesday). They will go in through the ribs to insert a tube to drain fluid off his heart, and may try to drain the lungs at the same time. The drained fluid will be sent to cytology for further testing.
His scans show that the tumor in his lung is larger, and a new tumor has shown up on his spine. All this is adding up to the fact that the Xalkori (his anti-cancer drug) has likely run its course and is no longer effective.
Chip will be in the hospital for several days recovering from surgery. That is the short term. Long term re: cancer treatment, we just don’t know. Please continue to keep us in your prayers, and I’ll update here soon. Thank you – we are so grateful for your support.