Long time, no write.
This post is well overdue.
So, I had my scan on March 1. “Basically stable”. This is good, guys. Soooo good, considering that I’m just taking a pill right now. One of my lung nodules grew from 7mm to 9mm, and one of them shrunk from 5mm to 3mm. Other than that, pretty much the same. My liver has been stable for ages, which is pretty unbelievable considering the tumor load that thing has carried.
So let’s be thankful for all of that!
Besides the scan, my blood levels are checked every three weeks. One of my cancer markers, the CEA has been on the rise a little bit. Tomorrow I have blood work and treatment, so we will see what things look like. Because of this (even though the scan was good), it could mean that the cancer is starting to be more active. So, we are really really really thinking about changing up my treatment – and maybe doing a clinical trial.
All the specialists I have been seeing keep recommending that I try a PARP inhibitor. I think I mentioned this. This drug is not chemo – the idea behind it is that it will prevent the cancer from using “PARP”, which is an enzyme in the body that helps repair DNA. If the cancer can’t repair its own DNA, then it dies. Get it?
I could potentially respond well to this plan because I have a BRCA mutation.
So, I’m heading to the National Cancer Institute (which is part of NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland….next Wednesday. They are going to screen me and we will discuss a trial, should I be eligible. The trial would consist of a chemo infusion (irinotecan – I’ve been on it before) every two weeks plus then I would take a PARP inhibitor pill.
I could be OK with that.
Another option is something at Georgetown, but they are further away. That would involve a PARP inhibitor plus a chemo called carboplatin (which, from my understanding, is an ovarian cancer drug).
Yet ANOTHER option – my doc at Hershey treats me with a PARP inhibitor off-label – meaning she will just get me the drug. It could be combined with immunotherapy or maybe a chemo.
This is crazy. A year ago when we were discussing treatment after some disease progression, we weren’t even talking about any of these above options. We were talking different combinations of chemo I have been on, or maybe a new, nasty-sounding chemo pill…but NOTHING like this.
It makes me hopeful and gives me some encouragement. Cancer treatment is changing LIKE CRAZY, guys. I just need to stick it out. I can do that.