February 9, 2015 (Mon) – Life’s a Beach

beachIt’s certainly not difficult to find beaches here in San Diego. From my house, sand is only 20 minutes away. The operative word here is sand. In many cases, life described as a “beach” is a good thing. It certainly is when describing our annual visits to Hawaii. Not so much when your T-shot lands in the granular stuff on the golf course. 3 times in a row. Like this past weekend.

But I am alluding to a more metaphorical use of beach. Or sand.

Since last July when I began the A-team (AZD9291) treatments, I saw huge benefits right out of the chute. Other than the brief detouClicking heelsr with blood clots, I have felt very healthy and recently have rejoined my softball team in an active role. Yes, I had a questionable brain MRI pop up, but since then it has remained stable and I had/have no reason to believe that will change. So my wife and I have been in, what she calls, La-La-Land. Definitely business as usual, virtually as normal as can be. This is where the beach, or sand, comes into play.

Head-in-sand-1-600x398Today I had my head very abruptly yanked from where I had firmly placed it into the sand. Although my recent brain MRI came back unchanged, and stable (now for the past 5 months), the CT scan did not play so nicey-nicey. To quote: “Enlarging bilateral pulmonary nodules, measuring up to 12 mm in diameter, suspicious for malignancy.” Glad I did not get these results before this past birthday weekend where my wife and I enjoyed two days of golf with my brother and his wife. This news would definitely have had a dampening effect on the weekend. My daughter put it in perspective, however. She mentioned the old joke: “What do you call a doctor that got ‘C’s’ in biology? …Doctor.” So she says I ended up with a B- since I had an A on the MRI and a D on the CT scan. Heck, it’s a pass/fail course anyway so all I have to do is pass, right?

My lung-onc was not overly concerned, yet, and for now these results pose no risk of getting me kicked out of the trial. For now. So the next scan in 6 weeks will be very interesting, and majorly scanxiety inducing. And this next set of scans would be about 5 days before we leave for Hawaii. Hmmm.

Per my lung-onc, when I asked her if there were any magic designer drugs following on the heals of AZD9291, she said no. There might be a new EGFR specific drug trial in 3-4 months, but she didn’t have a lot of info and indicated it could be fairly dangerous. So it is another wait and see game, a game I’m not overly enthused about playing.

Rombauer magnumOK, that was the update. But this week it’s all about celebration. Friday, as you know, will be my two-year anniversary fromRombauer Magnum signature my initial diagnosis. Alluded to above, my wife and I started the celebration early with a 2-day trip to a local golf course resort with my brother and his wife. And for my birthday, my brother bought a magnum of Rombauer chardonnay directly from the winery and convinced the owner of the winery (Mr. Rombauer doncha know) to sign it and ship it down for the celebration. How cool was that?

If you care to tag along on Friday, at 7pm PST, for the virtual party, I will be monitoring this celebration site.

Feel free join us if you can, post pictures in celebration or just make comments. I will be monitoring that site and responding accordingly. I’ll be sending out one more short blog on Friday morning as a reminder. If not, anything you want to add before then would be great.

See you then.

Business as usual. Day at a time.


13 thoughts on “February 9, 2015 (Mon) – Life’s a Beach

  1. Keeping you and family in our thoughts during the twists and turns of living with cancer. N&R Corradini

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Okay so the CT scan wasn’t the greatest news. You have overcome worse reports! I say enjoy yourself this week, especially on Friday, and don’t let Fuzzy rain on your parade. Now three golf shots in a row into the sand traps, that’s serious bad news! I’m not much of a golfer Craig but I would say you need to spend a lot more time out on the course practicing your swing. Let me know when that problem gets better. Take care Craig. The Beverlins pray for you daily.


  3. Aw man, sorry to hear about the scan results. Try not to panic yet (great advice, right?), things could stabilize. Thinking of you, buddy! Could they do targeted radiation if those spots grow?

    • Thanks Tori. Not panicking but a bit stressed. Everything was just going too well. I originally had radiation to my lung right after diagnosis but they stopped it 10 days into a 15 day regimen because it was having no effect. Don’t think radiation will be a feasible option. Not gonna worry about it right now. Yeah, sure. J


  4. Just wondering why your oncologist is not suggesting cyber knife for your fuzzes? I was set to start a trial but needed to have an MRI done first because you can’t have any tumors in the brain. I have not had a scan of the brain since being diagnosed with lung cancer almost two years ago. Glad they scanned me because they were up there just waiting to get bigger. Did two radiation treatments and have one more to go and they should be gone. Hoping to start the trial soon.

    • Donna, good question. I had lung radiation at the beginning of my journey but they stopped it short because it was not showing any positive effect. Can’t tell you exactly what kind of machine it was since it was so early in my treatment and I was not clear on the various types of radiation therapies. But I will certainly ask if/when it gets to that point.



  5. It’s pretty darn easy to keep our heads in the sand when things are going well, isn’t it? I guess this is why they call it a trial – because being a pioneer means your docs are learning with you about what to expect, and that can test a guy’s good mood when there’s a glitch. Here’s hoping that everything reverts to stability 6 weeks from now.

  6. I’d love to say “live in the present,” but I know that’s nearly impossible to do when you get the surprise news. I recently asked my lung-onc the “what’s next?” question. Even though there are no EGFR+ next gen drugs waiting in the wings, there are a few immunotherapy options. I’ll do a more thorough scouting report for you (and eventually me) at my appointment next next Tuesday.


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