Monday, April 23, 2012
Okay, wow, sorry it has been months since I've updated. I'm just going to assume anyone reading this has been keeping up with us through Facebook or family and friends. Too much has happened since my last post and I really want to cut to the chase with this post. So here goes... Aaron's cancer is back. I know...it sucks. Believe me, I know. But I also know that God has a plan, and I am not going to let my fear get the best of me. Here's how it's all gone down... Two months ago (in February), he had a CT scan that showed one tiny nodule in his lung, but it was so small that there was no way to tell yet if it was in fact melanoma. So the doc decided we would scan again in 2 months, and if it grows, then we know what it is and we will proceed with treatment. We discussed a plan of action if that did happen, our number one choice being an Anti PD-1 trial that would depend on if there were spots available in the trial. Then we went on our merry way, and just ignored it for the next 2 months. No use worrying over something we're not even sure we need to worry over. Fast forward 2 months to April... He had the CT scan on April 11, and we met with his oncologist April 18. He and I went to lunch before the appointment, and we talked about how we were both expecting the news to not be good, but that we were ready to move to the next step if it wasn't good news. I think we were both prepared emotionally and mentally this time around. Which is something I prayed for--that God would give us both a peace that passes all understanding and get on with what needs to be done. Maybe that means we're a little bit mad at this disease at this point and don't have much time for being sad. Whatever gets us through, right?! So we went into the appointment knowing full well what was probably coming. And sure enough, the doctor delivered the news that the nodule found in the scan in February had grown a bit (to 10mm) and there is an additional small nodule in his lung and one in front of his liver (not in his liver, so they're not even sure it's melanoma but we're going on the assumption that it is). So we did what we came to do--we said, "Okay, what's next?" The doctor initially thought Aaron didn't qualify for the Anti PD-1 trial because he thought the qualifications stated that if you had had an adverse reaction to Yervoy, you could not participate in the trial. Aaron quickly reminded him that the qualifications state that as long as you haven't been treated for the reaction in a certain amount of time, then you are good to go on the trial. (A lesson in being your own best advocate--there are great doctors out there, but no one is going to advocate for your health as much as YOU!) The doc said he would re-read the paperwork to verify, so he left to go do that. In a few minutes, he came back and went into the room next to us where another patient was waiting. We noticed a woman in a doctor's coat standing in the hallway waiting to go in to that room with some paperwork. Didn't think much of it, but then Dr. C came in with the lady (who turned out to be Christine), and said that yes, you are right, you do qualify for the trial. We were just about to offer the last spot IN THE COUNTRY to the patient in the next room but they had one thing disqualify them from the trial, and Christine has the paperwork you need to sign to get in this trial. Folks, I have NEVER in my life felt God standing right next to me, but you better believe I did in that moment. I've never felt so protected throughout this whole ordeal. Unbelievable. Aaron and I were almost speechless, but I sure could speak enough to say, "You better sign those papers as fast as you can!" Another "God" thing--one of the qualifications is that you have to have "measurable disease", which is having nodules of 10mm and above. His largest one is exactly 10mm. If it had to grow, I'd say that's a good number to stop at! If it had been one millimeter smaller, we would not be in this study. So...next step, they need fresh tissue to work with for the study, so he has a biopsy scheduled this Wednesday. This week, we should find out when he will start infusions. Which brings me to what he has to do to get what some are calling a "miracle drug" (I'm not making any promises--that's just what I've heard.) The trial is called MK-3475 anti pd-1 and it is administered through an IV infusion once every 21 days over a 30 minute time period. We don't know how long he will be doing this. It's actually quite fascinating how it is supposed to attack the cancer, but it is getting late, and I need to head for bed so I may post a blog about the "science-y" part at a later time. In the meantime... "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding." Proverbs 3:5 And pray! :-) Love you all! We could not get through this without you!