I like to think that life is like a roller coaster with its ups and downs. My own battle against cancer can be described as a roller coaster too! This past week I met with my oncologist to learn the details of a recent PET scan since I had completed a six month regime of chemotherapy.
I should start with advising that I have an aggressive cancer which likes to hide itself in the lymph nodes. I’ve been feeling pretty good since stopping the chemo so I was not as prepared as I would have liked to have been when I heard the results of my scan.
My bone metastasis (ie, cancer within the bones) has remained about the same or in some places the cancer tumors did shrink some from the chemotherapy. That is good news.
However, on the flip side of the coin, my cancer has now spread into the liver. That is the bad news. It is never good when a cancer starts making its way into the body’s organs.
What this means for me now is several things. First, since this is a metastasis to a new area I will require a liver biopsy. (ugh) Then the next plan of action is that I am going to start a phase I clinical trial.
Clinical trials are having a group of screened participants agree to try a medication or procedure for research purposes since said medication or procedure has not yet been approved by the US FDA.
A Phase I trial is a trial where the medication is first given to humans. In my case, AMP-224-01, (the name given to refer to the medication), has had favorable results in mice and monkeys. Hopefully I will have equally or more positive results without carrying around bananas or talking like a monkey. (smile)
There are risks associated with clinical trials and especially Phase I trials since little is known yet on how a human will react. My doctor explained to me that I will be like a bug under a microscope. They will want to know even if I hiccup! Because I will be under such close scrutiny, I have additional confidence in going forward with this trial.
I am also realistic in understanding that this increased metastasis of my cancer means that fewer options are becoming available for me. If I do not have a favorable response to the trial, it could be the beginning of the end for me. At least the end of life as I know it on this world.
My faith in God keeps me calm and focused. However I would be lying to myself and others if I did not acknowledged that there are times of fear. But there is no point in burying my head in the sand. I receive the facts and prepare myself for another battle.
I don’t know what the new treatment will mean yet in regards to my ability to keep up with my blog. I will be spending A LOT of time at my oncologist’s facility for treatments and observations.
Thankfully I have two great individuals who help with moderation. Aafke has helped immensely with guest posts when I’m having bad days and unable to post. I may have to consider more guest posts to have a cache I can refer to if I am sick or too weak to write.
While I still have energy and feeling good, I’d welcome the opportunity to interview any American Bedu followers. It is nice to share why someone has chosen to follow American Bedu and what their specific interests and/or experiences are in Saudi Arabia. If you’d like to be interviewed, just email me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In closing this post, thank YOU for following my blog!