We’re on a plane home. Feeling a joy. A peace. We’re having fun. We’re still thankful.
Thank you for all of your encouraging words. It has been so great to have received so many comments, texts, and emails. Thank you.
Here’s where we stand. The CT scan on Wednesday showed that, although most of my known disease has remained mostly stable/unchanged since the last scan (April), there are some new areas of growth in my abdominal cavity. It seems that the “seeds of cancer” have begun to sprout. What this means is that HIPEC or any other type of surgery is off the table for now and that the current treatment, though slowing progression, is reaching the end of its efficacy. Not to say that continuing the current regimen won’t help (I’ll be back on the same drugs this Monday), its just that, in the long run, there’s only so long the current drugs will keep cancer from growing.
But there’s hope! And i think this is why Kim and I feel light and confident. Recently, there has been progress for my cancer type in the area of immunotherapy. There isn’t overwhelming data from the phase I trial, but researchers have found some drugs that may allow some of the recent immunotherapy approaches, which have been successful in other cancers, to be effective in advanced colorectal cancer patients like me. There is a new phase III trial that is now open, recruiting participants, for which my oncologist thinks I’m a great candidate. The limitation is that there are to be only 360 participants or so worldwide, and there will be many people trying to get involved in this trial. I’m at the top of the list at MD Anderson, but it may be a couple of months before they can begin recruiting and by then the trial might be full.
I won’t get into specifics, but we have some contacts in a couple of the four current locations that have already begun the trial. Suffice to say, our hope is to be one of these 360 people to participate.
When you start talking trials, typically this means you’ve reached the end of standard care. This isn’t necessarily true in my case, but the fact is, we are close. For me and others, the hope of immunotherapy is what we’ve been praying for; we have to stay alive long enough for scientists and the medical community to make a breakthrough for our cancer type. They’ve now shown positive data, and I don’t doubt that within a year or so, they will bring a new drug forward for FDA approval.
If you’ve read my other posts, you know how I feel: God is at work. Of course. But sometimes it feels like He’s calling me along a path that He is paving just under my steps. No trowel, no smoothing of the way; of my family and friends, the footprints of our journey will remain. Many are watching our journey. That’s our testimony. But to what end? It’s tempting to look way ahead. Honestly, in my life, what hasn’t worked out in the long run? So I’ll stop my mind from wandering ahead of my feet. I’ll hope in the new medical advances, but I’ll trust in the One from whom all paths begin and to whom all paths lead. I just keep on walking.