I’m a week out of radiation, a week with more noticeable side effects (“sunburned esophagus” and extreme fatigue) yet ones that peaked last week and are almost gone today. My neck will hurt for awhile, however, and it will be a few weeks before the scans will pick up how much the tumor in my neck has shrunk.
Now I’m looking ahead to the next trial. Later this week I’ll have baseline scans and also an ophthalmology appointment since a cornea issue could be a side effect. The first day (Monday, Aug 25) will be a long one, but the cycles fall into a regular pattern of 21-day cycles with scans after every 2 cycles. I’ll remain on the drug as long as it is effective, which translates as no growth. Side effects are the usual ones, but I won’t know how I’ll react to the drug until I begin.
The study drug is considered a “smart bomb.” The molecules contain the antibody with a bit of chemo in the tail. Imagine your hands coming together and your fingers interlocking; that’s the cancer cell and the antibody. Once they join, the cancer cell opens up (base of hands stays together and fingers open up like a flower), and the chemo part attacks the center of the cancer cell and hopefully destroys it. Very interesting science, isn’t it? Dr. Burris’s research nurse Dee explained it just that way today, and it makes sense to me; of course, any errors in how I explained this are obviously mine.
Tomorrow I should learn what my C-125 marker is now. On July 28 it was 143, up from 94 on July 7, and 49 on June 16. The number is not heading in the right direction, and that’s why I’m starting a new trial. By the way, the normal range is under 30.
Although it takes a daily and often a moment-by-moment choice, I’m trying to hold on to the present and trying not to look ahead. I almost feel detached from reality at times because otherwise I probably wouldn’t be able to come out from under the covers. As always, though, God gives me encouragement through those I come in contact with every day, in person and by email, and I am reminded that His truth is the only truth that gives hope.
I believe that everything that happens to me is not a surprise to the Lord, and because of that I believe that He prepares the way before me. He is sovereign over my life, and I can rest in whatever the outcome may be.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand; when I awake, I am still with you. (Psalm 139:16-18)