Posting has been pretty light lately. Sorry about that (again.) It's been another round of medical madness these last few weeks. So, what's the story? I had my last scans prior to leaving for Africa and basically nothing had changed. Same results... a couple of things were smaller, a couple slightly larger, most were unchanged. To be honest, I was pretty disappointed. I really felt like the IL-2 had been working and then just slowed to a crawl. I had been under the impression that with IL-2 it was an all or nothing deal, and when I saw a few tumors go away, I'd always figured the rest would follow... right?
Three days into our vacation I found a new lump in my breast. A week after that, I found a new one on my left hip. A week after that, something tiny in my right breast. The writing was on the wall. We came back from the trip and I had scans a few days later. Luckily everything new seems to be in soft tissue (aka not in my organs,) but because anything new is developing it's time for a new plan.
There is a new drug that is currently in Phase 1 of clinical trials called Plexxikon. About half of all melanoma patients have a certain mutation in their cancer cells. This drug is supposed to stop your body from producing that cell. So far they've seen a response in about 70% of patients. That is a huge number! So... we had my tissue tested, and I'm a match for the mutation. I'll be heading back into the hospital Wednesday for more scans, blood work .... running the whole obstacle course, but in the end I'll be starting a trial where ... wait for it .... I TAKE A PILL! That's right, no shots in different states, no inpatient week long visits .... pills twice a day which I can take at home. Can you image being able to manage cancer with a pill? As long as I don't show disease progression, they'll keep me on it. It's not a cure, but it has the potential to keep things in check until a cure is found. I just have to make it to that finish line.
Along with the new drug plan, I've also taken on a new diet. No, it's not for weight loss. While in Africa I met with a traditional healer and she really emphasized nutrition in terms of getting myself cancer-free again. It's something that I can do for myself and feel like I have a bit of control over this situation. So, Dade and I have gone granola. I've given up as many processed foods as I can. I've not had a coke in weeks (the horror.) I'm juicing. Carrots have become my new cookie, and beets are my new potato chips. We're buying from local farms. I thought it would be harder than it is. To be honest, other than having a coke a day I've never been a huge junk food eater, but I've never gone organic either. It's a little bit of a mission thinking about everything I eat rather than just eating without thinking, but I'm starting to get it... Hopefully, combined with my normal work out routine this new diet supports my immune system to be able to fight harder, and encourages cancer cells to die.
So... that's my body in a nut shell. I have photos from 4 weddings I'm in love with sitting on my desktop ready to post, as well as fun new items, info on our upcoming sale and on and on... I'm on a mission. I'm going to get these posts up! Thanks for hanging in there with me.