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.