We arrived at the Clinic and reported to the vampires as usual, so he could get his IV started. Like clockwork, we went directly to the 3rd floor and checked in at the desk for his appointment with Erin, the oncologist’s assistant. After waiting a bit, they called his name, and we went down the same hallway to the same exam room. All seemed as it should be — until the door opened, and in walked Dr. Velcheti himself. We knew something was up.
Unfortunately, Monday’s CT scan revealed more cancer; this time, in his liver. Despite drenching him in carboplatin and pemetrexed twice in the last 6 weeks, the tumors still grew. Chemotherapy was now off the table. I wasn’t looking at Michael at that point in the conversation, as I was trying to keep from crab-walking on the ceiling. What do we do now?
Dr. V. told us about a clinical trial involving a combination of two drugs (I can’t remember their mile-long names at the moment) in pill form, paired with a regimen of IV infusions of the drug Opdivo — a relatively new treatment for several types of cancer. Opdivo alone is the standard treatment for patients with advanced NSCLC for whom chemo didn’t work, but this study involves the other two drugs. Therein lies the choice.
Do we start the Opdivo next week, or choose the clinical trial and possibly wait up to 25 days to begin? And it’s not just the wait; at least two biopsies have to happen, before and after treatment. It was all so much information to take in, I can’t recall everything without looking at the paperwork they sent home with us — which we decided to pass on studying last night in favor of relaxation.
When we went to bed, I think he was leaning heavily towards going for the clinical trial. As he’s still asleep, I’m not sure if he’s changed his mind or not. We’ll find out today and make the call, one way or the other.
So, more travels on different roads, leading to who knows where. Was it this hard for Odysseus? :-/ Regardless, I’ll keep you posted as we go — hopefully with some great news.