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 tested 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.
Most 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 nearby 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.