That’s my lead. I’m more of an instant gratification girl, so I like to use benchmarks for longterm projects, of which I am one. I also count songs when I run or take a punishing gym class (every song brings me an average of four minutes closer to the end). And when I used to run long races, I would count down (from mile 1) like this: 1 down, 12 to go. 2 down, 11 to go. You get the idea. What the headline means is that my CT scan was good and that I’m in the CRLX101 trial for another 8 weeks.
Dr Thomas says there is no disease progression and MAYBE even some tumor shrinkage around my heart. We have also found a good balance of blood transfusions and Neulasta (to make my White Blood Cells hang around longer. I think it’s like $4 beer for WBCs), so I hit my blood value requirements comfortably again. AND, eight weeks of the blood thinner have worked on that pesky blood clot in my port line. The CT scan shows that it is gone. That means I can stop taking the blood thinner in one more month, which is great news. The two-a-day shots hurt, and my whole midsection is bruised and swollen (a different way to get a muffin top). Want to see something gross?
And there was one more bit of good news, in a perverse cancer way. Last time I was here, they did a test to see if I had a cold or allergies or was all the especially annoying coughing/wheezing/short of breathless (?) because of the drugs. I DID have rhino-itis (I swear that’s what they called it.. Not really, but it was close) and still do. That’s good news because it means I will feel better than I did then and do now. So bike training for Pelotonia should (should) get easier.
Here are the signs I found that made me believe this scan was going to be a good one:
1. I got this in the mail last week. It’s from Georgetown University’s Lombardi Center, where you may remember I was in a trial for 2 1/2 years. It’s a thank you card for folks who’ve supported their clinical trials program and a reminder that June 3 is National Cancer Survivors Day. We had this photo shoot almost a year ago. And it appeared in my PO box now. I’ll be making another donation to Lombardi at http://giving.georgetown.edu/lombardi
2. In the last yoga class (6 am) that I took in Park City before getting on my flight to Maryland, we were lying on our mats in savasana, and the sun came up out of the clouds, from behind the mountains and just was…. WARM. It’s hard to describe how amazing it was to be still and have sunbeams falling all over me. Now I am much more appreciative of what makes Linus and Lucy chase the sun all over the house.
3. And on the night before I went in for the CT scan (during a great Stanley Cup game that had the wrong ending), Patrick texted me this:
My brother looked at the picture and asked, “Is he actually smiling?” Why yes, yes he is. Linus knows all.
So I can look forward to at least another four 5-hour infusions and 40+ days of taking Olaparib that will make me cough. But this complicated, elaborate combination drug trial seems to be doing what it’s supposed to. I don’t even try to understand parts of the protocol anymore (Cycle 7, day 15? Or is it 1?); it doesn’t matter. I just feel blessed and lucky I was among the last couple of solid tumor patients to get into this trial as it changed from Phase I to Phase II. It’s now only for some lung cancer patients, and I wouldn’t have been able to participate.
And I can look forward to Delta Upgrades in 2019 already. Next benchmark: Delta Diamond. #defy #clinicaltrials #relentlessforwardprogress #complimentaryupgrades
**I reached Delta gold status without realizing it this week. One more sign!