Hi friends! I’m so excited to share the good news about my scans! We’ll start with my liver. The “target liver lesion” (the biggest lesion of the 8 spots is the one they are tracking for the clinical trial) was originally 2.1 centimeters. Then, it measured 0.9cm on the second scan, and now it is measuring 0.7cm on the scan from yesterday which is an improvement! Can I get an A-men!? Regarding my lungs: The lung spots are small and look the same. As a result, my oncologist is not “convinced” that the spots that are currently on my lungs are actually cancer. I’ll take that! They can’t be sure that there wasn’t ever cancer in my lungs because one spot went away (maybe from the chemo)…. but, the spots that are left are too small to biopsy. Normally, if the liver spots are shrinking and improving, the lung spots would be improving as well. As a result, it makes the doctors think that the remaining spots could be nodules or something other than cancer (radiation damage…etc) because they are staying the same size…..if that makes sense. On to the bones: no new spots! The same spot on my spine is showing up on the bone scan, but it could be “healing” (they call that sclerotic) which would no longer be active cancer. If you remember, the spot on my sternum lit up on my bone scan for awhile as “sclerotic”. So, that’s what we are hoping for here. My oncologist told me that I can tell my friends and family that “overall we have good news”. I had a feeling some of you might want a little more detail. 😉
As far as the next steps for my chemo/treatment, today my oncologist told me that she feels like we’ve hit a plateau with the current treatment (Cisplatin, Opdivo, Romidespin). As a result, I was able to start the maintenance therapy TODAY!! My maintenance therapy schedule will look like this.
21 day cycles (per usual)
Day 1: Opdivo (immunotherapy) and Romidespin (classified as a chemo). Day one I will also go in early for labs and meet with the doctor. The infusion takes about 4.5-5 hours total once I’m hooked up and ready to go. Although I was here today until after 6:30. It was a long day.
Day 8: Romidespin (no doctors appointments that day- just labs and the 4 hour Romi infusion). The good news is that my white counts should be like a normal person during maintenance!
There could be some nausea with the Romidespin but usually the maintenance plan is much easier than what I was on. Prayers for that! I’m having a good bit of nausea today, but that could be the lingering Cisplatin in my system or it could be the Romidespin….or a combination of the two. Either way, the realization that my quality of life is about to improve is such a gift that I can’t put into words. I couldn’t stop tearing up today thinking about how grateful I am. I was able to share my story with a couple of the nurses today and it made me so happy to give God the glory for this healing. I absolutely believe that God puts certain doctors in my life for a reason and this is no exception. It all matters. When I told the nurses that I was the LAST person accepted to this clinical trial, I could see tears in their eyes. My favorite moment of the day was seeing my husband’s face (on FaceTime) when I told him the good news. I’ve said it before but I never knew how much I could love another person before I met Mark. I want to live for me….but I also want this for him. He deserves to have a wife and I intend on being here a long time 🙂
On another note, apologies for the late blog. I know the people who aren’t on Instagram have been waiting today! I needed to get some work done today during my infusion, so I had to put off blogging until later. I’m looking forward to reading all of the sweet and encouraging text messages and social media comments tonight!! It makes me feel so supported and loved. I’m lucky to have an such amazing group of people that are so invested in me.
Next steps: Now, we just need to ramp up our prayers that the maintenance therapy will WORK for me! This is a crucial part of the clinical trial. A lot of people have asked if I will continue receiving treatments in Kansas City. The answer is yes, as long as the treatments are working for me. (Or- until/if it becomes FDA approved and at that point I could get them at home.) The other question I get a lot is if the maintenance will still be given via infusions through my chemo port. The answer is yes. I don’t have any chemo pills like I’ve had in the past.
In other (and lighter) news, last year (pre-Rona) Mark and I were asked to have lunch at a local Baton Rouge restaurant (BRQ) because they were filming a food show. They wanted us to sit down, eat the food and just chat like we would normally. Talking and eating is certainly not a problem for us 😉 Yesterday the episode came out. (I honestly forgot we filmed that day and it was fun to go back and re-live some Pre-Rona bliss.) If anyone is interested in watching the episode, here is the link (below). Mark and I don’t sit down until about the 9 minutes and 30 seconds into the show. I wondered in the past if I had #RBF (resting b#tch face)……After watching this, I believe the answer is yes (but fortunately it doesn’t come out THAT often). 😉
What’s crazy is that this episode was filmed at a time when Kansas City was NOT at all on our radar. (I was in blissful remission at the time). If you watch the episode you’ll hear Mark randomly asking about Kansas City BBQ. I didn’t remember him bringing that up! Little did we know, we would become WELL acquainted with the Kansas City takeout food scene 😉
The cancer roller coaster is filled with highs and lows. Today was definitely a high😊
If you made it all the way to the end of this blog, thank you for reading 😉
⭐️Holly Hollis Stars⭐️