November 3, 2015 (Tue) – Time to Get Naked

OK, I know I have your attention right now. Either one of curiosity to see where I take this or one of revulsion wondering what personal picture I might post. Well, getting naked may mean lots of things. But we will address (or undress) these a bit later in the post. That, of course, is assuming the internet and WordPress police did not nix my post because of the title.

LCAMBut first things first. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Oh no, not another cancer awareness month! Well, actually November should be the biggest month because, unbeknownst to most of the public, lung cancer kills more people each year than the other top three cancers (including breast) combined. And each cancer has its own color used in support. White is often used for lung cancer. So anytime you see something white this month, think of the survivors like myself that are battling to stay ahead of that curve. I’m not much of a political activist and luckily we have several other members of our “club” that do a wonderful job at bringing awareness to much larger groups. But please keep this in mind over the course of the month. You only have to have lungs to get lung cancer.

As I mentioned in my last post, we were getting ready to head out for a vacation extraordinaire to Carmel and Pebble Beach about 8 h20151023_094748ours up the coast of California. Extraordinaire does not come close to describing this trip. If I had a bucket list, which I don’t, this would definitely have been on it. Courtesy of my very generous brother and his wife, we stayed in the most amazing place(s) imaginable. Here’s a picture looking up from the backyard from our first stay-over of 5 nights. And a link if you want some more detailed pics and info about this place. Yowza Yowza. Click on it for the full effect.

Oh, bPebble Beachut the trip was not over. Six of us (the “golfers”) moved down to Casa Palmero for the last two nights which made us eligible to play at
Spyglass and Pebble Beach, some of the most awesome courses in the world. Now, I won’t reveal my golf scores because they approximate the thermometer reading in Palm Springs in late summer. But the score did not matter. The courses were what matJacuzzitered. And being with family. Just amazing. As for the accommodations, they were just absolutely top notch. We had a continental breakfast each morning delivered and set up as evidenced here. And we even had our own private backyard (with 9′ wall) with Jacuzzi. Perhaps that Pebble Beachis where on20151027_083434e of the references from this blog title comes in. I’m not telling. Suffice it to say, it was a trip of a lifetime.

****************************

Now, on to more serious biz-wax.

This past Friday I had my double-your-pleasure combo of a brain MRI scan and PET scan. Got the results late in the day. The good news is that my brain MRI seems to indicate a fairly stable situation. Ta da. And the tumors in/around my lung continued to progress at a slow rate. So, that’s sorta OK news. But this is shoe-droppingwhere the other shoe dropped. And dropped like a size 20. The lesion (tumor) on my pancreas skyrocketed to over 7cm. That’s centimeters, not millimeters. The official write-up has it as “dramatic increase in size and metabolic activity of 7 cm pancreatic/peripancreatic mass.” No cancer patient likes to read the words dramatic increase. That equates to about 2.75″ for those of us not on the metric system – not quite the diameter of a baseball but coming close. Plus there is another “new nodal metastases lateral to the left psoas muscle in the upper pelvis, measuring 4-5 cm.” That came out of nowhere since it hadn’t shown up before. Needless to say this report was a bit of a sucker punch in the gut. And it explains the increasing pain I’ve been seeing in my upper gut that is currently only held at bay with increasing doses of Vicodin.

Knowing thospital_gownhat we would have the results in time, I had scheduled a meeting with the lung-onc specialist at Moores yesterday so that we could go over the results and chat about options. Bottom line: I will be leaving the AZD9291 trial shortly. First, they are scheduling a new biopsy to do all of the genetic testing for markers and “expressions.” And immediately followed by, yes, more radiation treatment, this time to my pancreas and left psoas muscle. The day before radiation treatment begins, I will chug my last A-team pill. So “going naked” means, for one, going without any oral cancer medication for the duration of the radiation. It also refers to my
state of dress, or undress, during said radiation treatments. As I’ve indicated before, I lost my modesty long ago.

As for what follows the radiation treatment, that is up in the air a little since there really are several options. There is another clinical trial (EGF816) going on in Boston and NY which we are seeing if I qualify for. There is also a combination of Opdivo (nivolumab) and Tarceva (erlotinib) which may work, but the chances of expressing the PD-1 marker is fairly low in a non-smoker and Opdivo works much better in smokers/former smokers. And choosing one of the drug options will eliminate my possible entry into one or more clinical trials. It gets pretty complicated trying to lay all of this out. Although I am in search of a second opinion, right now I still have confidence in my doc. As she indicated, my first two courses of treatment (Tarceva and AZD9291) were slam dunks as the right option at the time. We are now in somewhat of uncharted territory and there is no absolute right answer. My onc still is leaning towards starting off with chemo (carboplaxin and pemetrexed) which is given once every three weeks in a 2-hour infusion. If that fails to help, we can always come off that and try one of the other options. But things may change over the next 10 days – stay tuned.

So I’ve been on two trips recently. One from a bucket list and the other just about the opposite. Perhaps it rhymes with bucket? 🙂

But I sCraig and Kim at Rotary11032015till have options and new drugs are coming out fast and furiously. Just doing my best to stay ahead of that tsunami.

And, as always, my wife has been right by my side the whole way. I just have to end on this picture.

Business as usual. Day at a time.

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19 thoughts on “November 3, 2015 (Tue) – Time to Get Naked

  1. Oh my, the high highs and low lows you are experiencing. So sorry about that “size 20” shoe drop! Keep that wonderful family retreat in your mind as you proceed through the next round. It would be great to see you this coming Saturday at Zubie’s but understand if as you have “bigger fish to fry” these days. Hang in there “old” friend.
    Hugs, Karen “W”

    Reply
  2. Craig. I’m glad to see your keeping your chin up. Lots of options. Tarceva and your current drug is intriguing eh! Did I spell that right? Anyway y’all will put your heads together and come up with the best answer. I’m praying for you and lived your pictures if your wonderful trip. You have lots of wonderful friends and relatives wTching out for you.
    Love Martha in iowa

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  3. Hi craig,
    Hope your next treatment blows holes in those tumors. I am nsclc with egfr mutation but didn’t have the T790M mutation. I went on nivolumab and just a word of advice it did not work at all and my cancer exploded while I was on it. I have never smoked. Staying a step ahead is all we can do. Best of luck to you.
    Donna

    Reply
  4. Hi Craig, keep those vacations going -they may be the best drug of all for the C. Thanks for the updates and keep fighting.

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    • Hi Craig, keep those vacations going -they may be the best drug of all for the C. Thanks for the updates and keep fighting.

      Reply
  5. That is one heck of shoe drop. I’m interested in the EGF816 trials myself (Doing well on CO-1686 but you always have to be looking ahead) and wish they were more widely available. All my best to you and your wife as you go through the radiation treatments and decide on your next step. I’m glad that you were able to fully enjoy that vacation of a lifetime.

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  6. Oh dang. Your vacation sounds and looks like a slice of heaven. Really awesome! I’m so happy you and your wife got to spend that time together before having that size 20 shoe drop. All I can really say, Craig, is that I’m praying hard for you and for your medical team. Thank God we live in today’s world where there are so many, many options to try. Only a few short years ago, there wouldn’t be nearly so much hope as there is now.

    You’re in my prayers!!!! Big time.

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  7. Hi Craig. You continue to be in my prayers.

    Get Fuzzy! wrote: > CraigB posted: “OK, I know I have your attention right now. Either one > of curiosity to see where I take this or one of revulsion wondering > what personal picture I might post. Well, getting naked may means lots > of things. But we will address (or undress) these a bit later” >

    Reply
  8. > Hi Craig. You continue to be in my prayers. > > Get Fuzzy! wrote: >> CraigB posted: “OK, I know I have your attention right now. Either >> one of curiosity to see where I take this or one of revulsion >> wondering what personal picture I might post. Well, getting naked may >> means lots of things. But we will address (or undress) these a bit >> later” >>

    Reply
  9. Bless you, Craig! My thoughts and prayers are with you as always. You certainly did have a high/low last few weeks…love your vacation pics and experiencing Pebble Beach. Love your brain and lung results but hate the fact this pancreas thing has entered the picture. Keep us posted on the options and choices you and your doc have made.hugs to Kim
    Love, Annette

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  10. Hi Craig,

    Wishing you well always. Perhaps you can enjoy some fried chicken before getting naked? Sending good vibes to you and yours. Have a blessed November.

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  11. I think you and your wonderful wife should head back to Pebble Beach and have room service and play some more golf ! 🌞☀️🌞🏌🍽🌞☀️🌞

    Sent from my iPad
    Jean Young
    Young+Co., Inc.
    Office 619-687-2499

    Reply
  12. I have no idea where you get your strength and sense of humor, might be from your darling wife, Kim! I just want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers, asking for a total recovery and many more “bucket list vacations”

    Reply
  13. Craig, thanks for your detailed report; you are always so honest and brave about what is going on. Glad you were able to take your Carmel and Pebble Beach vacation. The Beverlins are praying for you fervently! Thanks for being such an inspiration. Hope to see you this Saturday,
    Wes

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  14. Craig, God bless you……..please! You are an inspiration to us all and we look forward to hearing about you next adventure to Hawaii or Pebble Beach.

    Reply
  15. Craig, we continue to keep you and Kim in our daily thoughts and prayers. Asking God for healing and peace during this next round of treatments.

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  16. I really struggle with what to say Craig … This journey is a lesson in living with uncertainty … Consciously. I’m coming to realize that it was always the case, but I didn’t know it until cancer invaded my comfortable little bubble. I am steadfast in believing that the name of the game is living NOW, and staying in the game because there is a new discovery almost every week … Hang in there and give my cuz a giant bear hug for me!

    Reply
  17. Craig – As I follow your blogs, I am constantly on the lookout for a possible “Magic Wand” that might help you & your fellow cancer fighters. I would like to pass on some recent info regarding the Kanzius method toward cancer treatment which I may have mentioned to you before. The link is http://kanziuscenterresearch.org/

    Reply

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