Thursday, July 28, 2011

Quick Update--Still in Clinical Trial

I spoke with my daughter, the med/peds resident in Minneapolis, last night.  She was much more sanguine about the renal lesion and said that they are quite common as non cancerous growths.  And, during our conversation,  I remembered that the traditional metastatic growth path for lung cancer is lungs, liver, brain bones.  Not kidneys. 

I met with my oncologist this morning.  At first Dr. Martins recommended terminating the clinical trial because there continued to be progression in my tumors' growth.  In response I noted what Sarah had told me about renal cysts and that I had an ovarian cyst that seemed to be non cancerous as well.    I mentioned the pathway that lung cancer normally takes, and he conceded that kidneys were not part of that.  Then, I asked him if it were possible that the progression of my lung cancer could be slowed down by the clinical trial, and  might rev up if I go off.  He said that that was a possibility.  Finally, he said to think about it this way--if in 6 months I felt the same overall as a I do now--would that be a good thing for me?  I said yes, I thought it would.  So the clinical trial folks were contacted back in New Jersey, and they said it would be a discretionary decision on Dr. Martins' part. Given my discussion with him and my feelings on the matter, he agreed to continue with the clinical trial.

We have nothing really to go on at this point other than my intuition that this is the path to take.  But I am willing to take the risk.  In addition, the clinical trial manager noted that according to my blood tests from two weeks ago,  my thryroid gland has  been working in overdrive but not producing the hormone needed.  This has been a side effect from the monoclonal antibody in other participants. Today's results confirmed the thyroid imbalance,  so I am being prescribed synthroid.  One symptom of low hormone production, I was told, is hoarseness.  So there is something to consider as a possibile cause of my continuing hoarseness while speaking that might have nothing to do with my surgery two months ago. 

So, while I don't know where this is ultimately going, I am feeling much encouraged.  And thanks for all your good wishes yesterday both on the blog and privately.  They really helped.


Janet said...

What a relief!!! My sincere congratulations!!!!

odp said...

Outstanding!! Can they determine what the kidney thing is? Fingers always crossed and good thoughts coming your way. (And the Mariners stopped their losing streak! It's all good.)

Anonymous said...

Well, that is a great turn of events! Good careful research - you and your daughter - often is so helpful, yet hard to do when feeling so worried.
Keeping you in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

I have been traveling and so just now read this. Yay and yay! The fact that the older tumors are stable or dead should speak against the renal tumor being a metastasis. I was a medical transcriber for many years and often typed up renal lesions in people of your age that were absolutely not malignant. And often those tumors grew. Yay that you're still in the trial and yay for your intuition.

Always the best to you,

Laura said...

I'm glad the optimism is back today! Good news always makes everyone feel better. Keep up the good fight, we're all pulling for you.

Dan Matyola said...

I'm glad to hear that you will continue in the clinical trial. I hope it all works out for the best. I admire your positive attitude and your ability to deal with the tough issues you face every day. Keep fighting!

Deborah said...

You rock! And Sarah too! And Dr. M! Take charge!