Lately I've been feeling good, which is bad. I saw Dr. O in New York and he said that my scans were bad, which is bad. Even though I've been feeling stronger, less sick and have more energy, my cancer is too. The treatment that I'm currently on isn't working but since there's not a lot for me out there, we decided to give it one more shot.
So the coming months look like this:
I'll continue on this treatment until mid August. The roughly twelve tumors that I have in my body will have grown during that time. Right now, the largest is three centimeters. Growing at the same rate, it should be five to six centimeters in August. This tumor is right below my right lung. The danger is that it infiltrates the lung. It could do it any time without any rhyme or reason. Cancer does what it pleases. Other tumors will have grown too but they should range from about two to four centimeters. Many of these are located on my neck and shoulder. I'll start looking a little like Elephant Man.
In mid August, I will need to have a "wash out" period of one month where I can't take any chemotherapy drugs and have to wait for my body to completely wash out the current chemo. The cancer will be able to grow unchecked here. About the only thing I can do is take prednizone, a drug that has messed my brain up pretty good in the past. Expect a lot of late night blogging and emails to occur as it keeps people from sleep. This drug is only a short term remedy and keeps the cancer from getting too wacky.
By mid September, if I'm feeling up to it and if the cancer hasn't advanced too far, I will go on another clinical trial treatment. If I'm lucky, I'll take to this and the tumors will stop growing or even reduce. But the chances of that happening are less than fifty fifty. If the treatment doesn't work, we'll know by about November and I'll probably end up taking some high dose traditional chemotherapy to try to bang back the tumors for a short period.
The goal right now is to stay alive long enough to reach the new year. At that time, an effective treatment may become available on the market as it is scheduled to be approved by the FDA in the first quarter. That drug has many debilitating side effects but has shown to be 70% effective for Hodge patients like myself. It only lasts about five months before side effects become too unbearable and dangerous or the drug stops working. But that would take me past my birthday and into a new baseball season.