My Status Update

I have met with my Thorastic Oncologist (for lung cancer and metastatic bone cancer) last week. I also have a Radiology Oncologist, who I meet with for my metastatic brain cancer. Due to inflammation in my lungs that is most likely caused by Tencentriq, an immunotherapy, this infusion, which I was getting every three weeks, has been permenantly discontinued. I will continue receving my monthly injection of Xgeva, which is to strengthen brittle bones due to cancer.

I will admit, as I have now gone almost two months without the immunology infustion and I am finally feeling that I am returning to a state of existence that closely feels like I did “before:” Which would be like it did in May of 2021. This is great!

But the ying/yang of small cell carcinoma lung cancer is that for every positive there is a negative. In this case the use of Tecentriq, “After an average follow-up period of about 14 months, average survival was 12.3 months in the Tecentriq group compared with 10.3 months in the placebo group.” So, by discontinuing immunotherapy my life expectancy has been shortened. Further, as I have now cleared the six month threshold, I can receive chemotherapy again. Thus, in the study the FDA used to approve Tecentriq for the treatment of small cell carcinoma lung cancer, “…measured progression-free survival, which is how long patients lived without their cancer getting worse. Progression-free survival was 5.2 months in the Tecentriq group compared with 4.3 months in the placebo group.” So, I am looking at approximately, four months before I will be dealing with another round of chemotherapy. 

My next round of testing is already scheduled for November 4th, with a follow up with the Thorastic Oncologist on November 10th. As I said earlier I have TWO oncologists and I will meet with the Radiation Oncologist on September 23rd, with an Brain MRI scheduled for September 14th.

Small Cell Carcinoma Lung Cancer, which accounts for 10 to 15 percent of all cases of lung cancer, is a cancer that does not get “cured” or go into “remission” the best you can hope for after treatment is for your cancer to stabilize. Which means its still in your body but it is not growing.

Now, I exercise, slowly and rather awkwardly, on a daily basis. I also participate in quite a few Zoom meetings on a variety of topics and I am up to reading a book on a weekly basis. Right now I have just finished, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, by Leo Tolstoy, and have about finished The Economists’ Hour by Binyamin Appelbaum. Then I will move on to The Invisible Bridge by Rick Perlstein (I have already read the first two books of this series, Before The Storm and Nixonland. After reading The Invisible Bridge, that will leave Reaganland left to read to complete the set). If you have any interest in the recent history of the conservative movement that swept into power in the United States then you diffinently want to read these four books and I think you should, as I did, by reading a fifth book, The Fifties by David Haberstam (This book is great all by itself as the 1950’s was probably America’s greatest decade!) Then I will also read Sacred Earth Sacred Soul by John Philip Newel.

Surpisingly, this Sunday I will attempt to be a bright, cheerful, and welcoming Greeter at church! Talk about a miscast! My memorial garden project has gone from one garden to three and I am finally able to see it being finished……..soon! Besides this blog I am also attempting to transform two Facebook Group Pages to hopefully make them more interesting and more useful.

Focusing on meaningfulness and purpose!

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