I had an x-ray yesterday and there didn’t appear to be any shrinkage but it hadn’t grown either which is a constant fear of mine! I have only been on the pills for a little over 4 weeks so it wouldn’t be common to see much change at this time but the fact that it hasn’t grown shows that it is blocking it at least! Obviously you hope to go in and hear that “the pill is working miracles and it’s shrunk by half” but must remember that slow and steady wins the race!
I am now scheduled for a CT on August 31st to get a clear picture of what is happening. Since x-rays are not as clear as a three-dimensional image, we will be able to get actual measurements down to the millimetre from the CT. After this CT, if there is marked improvement (pretty unlikely at this point but possible!) then we will continue on with the pills to try and get more shrinkage but if there is only marginal improvement, we will go back to Plan A which consists of chemo and radiation. I knew that an interruption in therapy to get combination treatment was the plan all along but it was just a matter of determining when to interrupt the Xalkori to go in and fry it!
Essentially, if it is only shrinking at very small rate, then my doctor does not want to miss the window of opportunity to treat me with a full dose of radiation as this was something that we didn’t even feel was an option only a couple of months ago. We’ve seen how fast it can grow in a matter of 3 weeks and don’t want to risk that happening again. As of right now, it looks like I will be receiving 6 weeks of chemo/radiation every day starting at the beginning of September. It’s a pretty intense treatment and very aggressive but I am so fortunate to have this opportunity. Statistically (remember that statistics don’t always apply to me) this type of treatment has between a 20-25% curative success rate. The fact that I was previously told by doctors in Edmonton to “get my affairs in order and that I would have less than a year”, these numbers are really encouraging to me! I couldn’t be more grateful to have the BEST team of oncologists working with me in Ottawa. I am very confident that they are going to save my life and still can’t believe just how lucky I am to have found such amazing doctors such as Dr. Scott Laurie at the Ottawa Cancer Centre.
There is still a possibility that the chemo/radiation may be postponed to later but am preparing for September. If we get news on the 31st that it has shrunk even more, I will be ecstatic but just knowing that I have Xalkori as preventative maintenance afterwards is more reassurance that I can beat this thing.
Two more weeks of the waiting game, which doesn’t seem to get any easier, and then we will get a definitive answer as to what our next plan of attack is! I also have my younger brother’s wedding to look forward to which is on September 5th! He is marrying an amazing girl who I can’t wait to call my sister-in-law.
(Aren’t they adorable?!)
My next post will be after September 2nd when I get a CT and a game plan! Thanks again to everyone for your continual support and prayers throughout this battle! I can’t begin to thank you all enough!