Over the last couple of months, Manny has been undergoing treatment through a clinical trial out of MD Anderson Cancer Center. He and his family spent the first seven weeks of the trial living in Houston because of the demanding treatment schedule.
Over the course of the six weeks, Manny had several special visitors. His sister, Dani, traveled all the way from Australia to spend time with him. She cooked his favorite meals and even made a Thanksgiving feast!
Manny’s other sister, Christie, and her husband, Marty, were also able to travel to Houston and keep him busy. They “hung out, ate good food, and enjoyed Dani’s cooking pretty much.” (His words exactly.)
Just after they left, I arrived in Houston and was able to spend four days there. He was getting over a bad cold and his body was getting acquainted with the medicine, so we spent a lot of time relaxing and watching movies. He was feeling extremely tired and couldn’t stand for long, but he was eating and that’s what mattered.
Two weeks went by before I could return again for his 24th birthday. Throughout the two weeks, Manny would tell me how much better he was feeling and (especially) how well he was eating, and it made me so happy to get back over there and see him!
During this time, his friends Nano and Jose also paid him a visit. They ate plenty of BBQ and even watched a few bowl games at a bar in Rice Village.
When I returned to Houston, Manny’s other two friends, Justin and Monica, joined me.
We went to some really cool bars in Midtown Houston, and even went to the Houston Zoo. Manny’s sister, Dani, was able to get us tickets to a Rockets v. Lakers game, which Manny loved!
Considering Manny’s love of water, he also dragged me to the Downtown Aquarium. On our way there, we noticed a beautiful building which turned out to be the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, so we stopped a said a prayer before going to dinner.
Overall, it was a wonderful five days, and his physical and mental conditions were obviously improving.
Manny was so happy to be able to come home just in time for Noche Buena. His schedule allowed him to spend about a week in Miami before his next treatment required him to be back in Houston.
Since starting treatment, Manny has been consistently gaining weight. After all the Christmas lechon, the nurses were happy to say he had officially gained 5 pounds since his initial visit!
They were raving about how great he looked! (It’s incredible what a little Miami, a lot of pork, and a good hair cut will do.)
During the visit, the doctor decided that Manny was benefitting from the treatment just by looking at his physical state.
This past week, this was confirmed.
Manny had his first set of scans since starting treatment this past weekend. The scans showed that his tumors are stable. Although this may not seem like amazing news, the doctor did share that the other ASPS patient on this treatment, whose tumors are now shrinking, showed the same results at this point in the trial.
Only time will tell exactly what this treatment is capable of, and we must continue praying hard until then!