On Friday I turned a corner and my aches and pains lessened lifting my spirits – A LOT. This helped to cope with the disappointments about my worsening condition and not getting into the most promising trial. Until then I was getting anxious about continuing on without any treatment while waiting for all the test results.

Tuesday afternoon we got the good news that Friday’s and Monday’s tests cleared me for the trial. I start right away. Ken and I spent a long, tedious afternoon waiting… for my doctor’s appointment, for the results of all the tests, for setting more appointments, for insurance approvals, and for the medications. Some of the insurance issues remain to be resolved but it should not take log to sort out.

Other good news… while the tumor in my lung, the nearby lymph glands, and the spots in my bones show increased activity, the one in my abdomen shows no activity at all. Since this was between my stomach an liver, it put both organs at higher risk. So it is a relief to have this threat reduced.

I will be starting a new IV medication soon to strengthen my bones to help compensate for the weakening effect of the cancer. It will only be once every 4 weeks and only a 15 minute infusion. I will still have many appointments due to all the testing and monitoring. But, I should have two-week long breaks in between much of the time.

One of the medications I’m getting is Tarceva – the “standard of care” for NSCLC. It is usually more effective treating women non-smokers. So that is great news. The chief side effects are rashes and pimples on the face and upper body and very dry skin. These are expected in to start in about 10-12 days. The rashes should come in cycles with fewer cases over time. Fatigue and mild nausea are other expected effects. 
The treatments are expected to stop the growth of the tumors. Rarely, but sometimes, they will shrink them. The combination is being tried to see if it will provide more improvement.

I remain eager to see how the Lucanix does. Though I have no idea when the results might be available. I am hopeful it will be used in another trial not far down the road, one that I might qualify for.

Advertisements