Kristy and I got some very exciting news this week.
If you've been following you know that my previous
cancer chemotherapy was not producing the results
we had been hoping for. My doctors from Rush University
decided to stop the treatment and referred me to
a clinical drug trial at the University of Chicago Medicine.
I started the treatment on Halloween (Oct 31).
For the past month Kristy and I have spent our
Wednesdays at UCM so they can give me blood tests,
EKG, urine tests etc. for the drug company studies.
This past week the awesome Dr. Beach and my favorite
RN Livia informed us that my numbers have shown a
very dramatic change for the better!
Four days after starting treatment I was able to
stop taking pain pills every five hours all together.
That had been ongoing since July because of the pain in my bones and back.
This week we saw that my calcitonin level (which is one of the markers
for the medullary cancer) had dropped in the past couple
weeks. In fact it has dropped from a high on Oct. 31st
of 1865 to 9.5 as of Nov. 28th! In a normal person that
number is usually 14.3 to zero. Looks like
I'm practically normal. Ha!
The other number that marks the growth of the cancer
in my body is called CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen).
My CEA level has dropped since Oct.31st from a high
of 1457 to 446.3 as of Nov. 28th!
Normal CEA is of course 3.4 to zero but that is an astonishing
drop since that number has been climbing on me for the past
year and a half.
The numbers look great and in my layman's terms I'd say this
experimental targeted chemotherapy appears to be kicking some
major cancer ass!
I'm feeling like a little bit of the pressure valve has been opened up
and I can breath a little easier right now.
We won't know for sure how it's working until the end of December
when they have me go in for another brain scan MRI and a full body
CT scan. They can see how the tumors in my liver, tiny lesions in my brain
and my bones/spine are responding to the treatment.
We're hoping and feeling like it's going to be good news.
I asked Dr. Beach what the end game is on this drug.
Does it cure the cancer? So far nothing has.
Does it just level off the growth
so I just take the treatment the rest of my life and this
just becomes a chronic disease?
Dr. Beach and Livia both said.. We don't know.
It's still an experiment.
The way I'm feeling is that it's working.
I'm OK with that!