May 14, 2014 (Wed) – Geezer Mutant Ninja Hurdles

TurtleWow, was that a stretch. I agree.

But once I have an idea in my head I force it to fit. And God knows I ain’t no teenager. So, do I look ready to do battle? I guess that’s the idea. I’ve had it relatively easy for 15 months. Emphasis on relatively.  Phase II coming up, yet still to be determined. But it will be a tougher battle (hurdle) whatever the path I take.

So my wife and I met with the lung-onc specialist Monday to determine the next step in this journey. She confirmed that the first step would be to do another biopsy of fuzzy so that they can get the tissue testedDiagram for whatever mutation has caused it to become resistant to the Tarceva I’ve been taking. And depending on those results, I essentially have 4 directions I could head. Here is a simplified diagram that my doctor drew up that makes it more understandable:

Thus, there is a 50% chance I will test positive for the T790M mutation which would mean I’d be eligible for a UCLA clinical trial. There’s a 30% chance I’ll test for the C-Met mutation which would mean I’d stay in SD for the clinical trial. In 20% of the cases, neither of these would test out and they don’t know why. That would mean I’d begin a regimen of regular chemo-therapy. On the slim chance (4%) that this comes back having mutated to Small Cell Lung Cancer (currently I am Non-Small-Cell), then I would begin a different chemo therapy. And SCLC ain’t a good thing, not that NSCLC is good. But that is the last option I would want to have happen. Ergo the sad face. And yes, for you math nerds (like me) I know the total is 104%. But that is how the diagram was drawn for me.

So I am on pins and needles awaiting my biopsy which will be performed this Friday morning. That was a very poor pun since a hollow needle will be used for the tissue extraction, otherwise known as a core biopsy. Same as the one I had more than a year ago when I began this journey. Sorry if you just finished your dinner…Forgot the TMI warning. I was going to use a picture but that would indeed be over the top. I’m sure you can use your imagination.

finger in dikeMost likely I will remain on Tarceva for the time being because there is no way to know if it is still offering some benefit. No sense pulling the finger out of the dike if it is just leaking. Certainly OK by me. Don’t need to open the flood gates to fuzzy.

All that said, the doc made us feel a a bit more at ease in terms of the urgency level we are looking at. With our daughter’s wedding two weeks from Friday, I didn’t want to have to carry a barf bag with me down the aisle. By the time the tissue sample is read in the lab (about 5 days after the biopsy), it would only be another week before the wedding. She said, very confidently, that there is no concern about waiting until the week after the wedding before beginning whatever treatment is in store. Whew. I feel a whole lot better. Of course I would have had a built-in excuse for my lousy dancing which I will now have no explanation for. Eh, trade-offs.

So I sit here typing this more-clinical-than-usual blog while surrounded by boxes of “stuff” and duffel bags filled with more stuff. San Diego was hit with 8+ fires today that started with the 100 degree weather and high winds. There were two small fires firenearby that were quickly handled. Thank you firefighters! But all of us in this community are a bit skittish after the two fires in 2003 (330 homes in our neighborhood destroyed) and 2007 which caused us to evacuate. So we have our stuff ready to load up in the car. Hopefully the cooler weather predicted for the weekend will knock down the risk a bunch.

So, next news will probably be in a week or so with results of the biopsy. Stay tuned.

Business as usual. Day at a time.


13 thoughts on “May 14, 2014 (Wed) – Geezer Mutant Ninja Hurdles

  1. Will continue to think good thoughts; keep you in our prayers. Sending positive energy & healing thoughts your way. Very excited about Bradyn’s wedding!

  2. Thank you again for explaining, educating and amusing us – all in the same blog. Bradyn’s wedding will be beautiful. And remember, you can always insist that everyone do the hokey pokey as a diversionary tactic.

  3. Can’t believe that on top of all the “med stuff” you now have to contend with fires in May. I can only imagine how crazy this all is for the Mother of the Bride. Kim must be one tough cookie. Hope your daughter’s wedding venue was spared in the fires. But most importantly, I hope the biopsy will yield better news and May 30th WILL BE a beautiful day. Hope you can make it on Saturday but soo understand if you become a no-show.

  4. Fingers crossed for you. I faced the same situation you are in, only a few weeks ago. Core biopsy showed T790 (gotta be happy about that), and I started on the Clovis trial on 5/5/2014. Glad to see the back of the tarceva. It had certainly been a friend for a long time, but things were getting a bit tense between us.


  5. Oh Craig, I feel your pain & frustration. I,too, am at the same “junction” as you. I was told to stop Tarceva yesterday ~ in order to “wash out” in preparation for an immunotherapy clinical trial I am about to start in ~ 2-3 weeks. I also have to repeat another biopsy as a baseline for the trial. I feel our “cancer journeys” have mirrored one another from the beginning…so moving forward…we are going to get through this next hurdle with flying colors…one day at a time ! Hang in there buddy ! Wishing you all the best !

  6. You hold up our hopes and in your strength gives us strength in your journey. Now it’s time for all of us to let you know our continued thoughts and prayers are with you. The battle continues, each day spent fighting, a victory! So happy you will be “Father of the Bride”….a special moment, to be lived in the moment :-). Get those dancin’ shoes on and move to the beat of happy! Best to you!

    Julie Lind Postle

  7. In my prayers, Craig as well as all the docs…UCLA has saved my life twice..I cant say enough about the team approach to whatever ails us at that medical center…Im sure you have checked out Anderson in Houston and Mayo trials – they have short term residential accommodations for family members, Ive heard. Happy to hear that you will most definitely be walking your daughter down that aisle. One day at a time…business as usual See you Saturday!?

  8. I’m sending good thought and prayers from France to you Craig – as I do each time I read one of your posts. You are amazing! Have a wonderful magical day walking Bradyn down the aisle. Congratulations to her and to the Father of the Bride.

  9. Hoping for the best result…… will be wonderful to have the wedding to take you away from this journey just for awhile. Let your hair down and rock it!!!!!!!

  10. So here’s hoping you qualify for the procedure that is most effective and beneficial for you. Good luck on the dance floor–your primary focus now!! Hi to Kim.

  11. Craig….As you know, turtles are now in abundance in areas of Hawaii after a concerted effort to protect them over the last 10-20 years. They also won the famous race with the fuzzy hare. See you at the wedding and will be cheering for you and your fabulous daughter……Imua….Zeke


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