New Problems, New Questions Put on Hold
When a doctor tells you that you have cancer or that your cancer is progressing, your first thought is this: Do something now! Four years into this journey though, we know that doing something fast, isn’t the same as doing something right. In fact, usually doing something fast is the exact opposite.
It’s been a little over a week since we found out that Chris’s cancer is progressing and that Cabo is no longer working the way that it did. So many of you have e-mailed, called, reached out to tell us you’re thinking of us and you’re praying for us. Thank you. But we also often get the question: what have you decided?
The answer is this: We haven’t decided anything yet.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate. We have decided a few things.
We decided to get a tumor tissue sample last week from one of Chris’s lung mets. We’ve sent it off to a lab in Arizona where they are going to do a molecular analysis. They’ll look at the tissue and see if there are any out of the ordinary biomarkers – things that would give us a clue about Chris’s cancer. The hope is that they’ll see something that will point to an “out of the box” treatment – maybe even a chemotherapeutic drug that RCC doesn’t normally respond to. We should have results from that later this week or early next week.
Dr. Hammers has also put in an order for an immunotherapy drug that’s used to treat melanoma. It’s a drug that’s been tested in renal cell in the past, but was never FDA approved. It comes with some risks to an RCC patient that melanoma patients don’t necessarily face. We suspect that our insurance company will deny coverage, but we won’t know that for a few more days. After that, we might appeal the decision, which would likely take another week.
In the meantime, we’ve made one more very important decision. We’ve decided to go to Tybee Island with our girls. It’s become somewhat of an annual trip for us. Tybee is a barrier island, just outside of Savannah. As many of you know, Savannah is a special place for Chris and I. Chris’s family is from Savannah, and it’s important to us that our girls feel at home there – now, and in the future.
On Thursday, we’ll pack up the van and head to the island. There’s shade for Chris and we can tote along some extra oxygen to help him out when needed. We feel like we have some degree of control of the environment should Chris face an immediate health emergency, with good hospitals in the area. Meanwhile, the girls can run and play and Chris will be able to spend some quality time with them. I’ll relax in the one place where I seem to be able to let the anxiety and fear go.
As results come in, as other decisions outside of our control are made, we’ll gather more information like shells on the beach – and we’ll make some tough decisions. For now though, we’re not going to do anything but relax.