HEALTH UPDATE: This spa day, otherwise known as chemo day, was very different than all the others. We skipped the chemo part. The tumor monster has rejected the chemo’s powers. Although the powers held back growth, it did not minimize and that is exactly what must happen. Goodbye folfirinox. Thanks for not making me worse but you just aren’t strong enough. It was proven by scans and blood tests.
It is time. Time to play our miracle card. Immunotherapy. I’ve already been “clean” from chemo drugs for 14 days. 16 days to go to meet the requirement of the trial. The team is busy getting me approved and all necessary tests completed for me to participate.
My oncologist confirmed what I was told by the Doctor on call last Friday. No growth in tumor, no shrinking. No spreading of cancer. Holding steady. The COLLISION tumor theory was a real let down (only because I love the name COLLISION tumor). Although there appears to be a 1.1 cm area with neuroendocrine tumor cells, it is not worthy of special treatment or a change in the course of treatment. Cheers to Dr. Evans at Froedtert in Milwaukee. You were correct.
We are still waiting for the genetic tests to come back. Because of the sensitive nature of these tests that could affect my immediate family and their children, I will not be discussing the results. The results will not really change my outcome and this blog is about me and my insane medical story, not that of my beloved brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. Thank you for your understanding.
The long and winding road of uncertainty is becoming shorter. Although the chemo did not do what I had hoped for, a new chapter begins and the road is now straight and flat. I see direction. I have answers. I’m not waiting anymore for explanations. I think this last round covers them. This is it. It’s time.
Immunotherapy. It is such a miracle that I was asked to participate in this trial (still subject to approval by drug company). Immunotherapy is a new and exciting treatment that in simple terms makes your own immune system attack and kill your own cancer cells. There are immunotherapy drugs that are used and approved by the FDA. I don’t believe there are any at this time for pancreatic cancer that are approved by the FDA. My trial focuses on the tumor, not the type of disease.
There will be 90 participants across the United States participating in this trial. There was one other trial with this drug that was already completed. It consisted of 19 people and the objective was to see how much of the drug could be tolerated. Geez, glad they got that one out of the way. There are zero statistics on my trial as it isn’t yet completed. I will be administered this drug through my trusty port every three weeks. I will have whatever tests and scans that the drug company requests. They own me.
There are many possible side affects but my oncologist is downplaying this greatly. They also add that there could be side affects that they haven’t listed since it is so new, not many people have taken the drug yet and they just don’t know! I can’t be bothered with the thoughts of side affects. What am I supposed to do? Say no? I’m sorry. It’s all too risky. Well here it is all on the dotted passing line on my straight and flat road. This is the best chance I’ve got to slay this monster and I have no choice but to take it.
I was really wanting to have spa day today. Drip, drip, drip. Chemo treatment is in my safe zone. I’m familiar with it. I know how I’ll feel afterwards and for the few weeks to come. Even though I’ve been feeling worse lately I knew it was keeping things stable. I love to have sister time with Melanie. We didn’t have time to catch up today! I wanted chemo to work!!! I have to face the facts. It’s just not working. I know immunotherapy is the best option. My oncologist is very excited. She feels that my very heavy mutation burden will react well to this treatment. But there are no guarantees. This part scares me. I’m haunted by “what if?. I want guarantees! Life doesn’t work that way. I need to put my big girl pants on and take this amazing opportunity and just DO IT! Watch that monster slither away to hell, cell by rotten evil cell.
This is why I blog. I have many fears. When I spell them out they don’t seem so bad. It is a selfish endeavor as it helps me greatly to sort my feelings and bring me off the cliff. They are fears that I can control and calm when I think of what a miracle it is that I qualify for this trial. I can calm my fears when I think of all my friends and family that love and support me. I can calm my fears with the single thought that my God is by my side. It really is a wonderful feeling!
Sending blessings and love to all of you!