Cured — Just Kidding
After my most recent CT scan, I was informed that my cancer has recurred and metastasized. (Returned? Or was it simply missed originally since no CT scan was performed at the time of the surgery, only an x-ray.) It was confirmed last week that multiple tumor nodules are spread through both of my lungs. My oncologist also informed me that the cancer is inoperable. This puts me into what they refer to as Stage 4 metastatic cancer. Not great news – and on top of that it is freaking snowing outside. I do not like cold weather and believe that those people who do are evil.
Dena and I are investigating our options. Five or so years ago, there weren’t really many options at all. However, there has been some excellent research progress, resulting in some new drugs that are showing promise. The drug Sutent tops the list. This drug does not eradicate the tumors; only surgery can really do that. It denies the tumors nutrients, thereby preventing their continued growth and spread. It has varying success rates with different patients and, after time, loses some of its efficacy. Nonetheless, it is a very promising treatment, especially as I’m relatively young and in fabulous envy-inducing shape.
Another option we are considering is something called HD IL-2. It stands for high dosage interleukin. A brand name for this treatment is Proleukin, and they’ve got an excellent website explaining the treatment: www.proleukin.com. It can be pretty hard on the body, and I have to get some testing done first to see whether I would qualify. Because of what the body goes through, they require that your heart and lungs be in top shape. I have asthma, which could create a problem. However, the good news is that the asthma is controlled and hasn’t been a problem since I was a child. The success rate of this treatment is pretty low, about 15 percent on average. However, for those who do experience success, it can be quite remarkable – in some cases even shrinking the tumors completely.
As yet, we don’t know which treatment action we will take. We’re still gathering some information and talking to specialists. And drinking beer.
We’ll keep this site updated as we move forward.