Update #17

Long time no talk. Last time we checked in, shit was kinda growing in my lungs, but very little. Since then, I switched drugs (back to Folfox) and have done 4 treatments. We did another scan at the end of January and it was similar to the last scan – everything stable except for a couple nodules grew 1-3mm again.

In February, I transferred over to USC with the doctor we’ve been getting second opinions from, Dr. Lenz. This has immediately paid off. There are two great developments since transferring over.

  1. At USC we did a Liquid Biopsy (something Kaiser doesn’t do or cover). A liquid biopsy tests your tumor cells against the chemo drugs and sees what is effective or not. For me, the results came back and there was not even a detection of tumors. Doesn’t mean there’s no disease, but most likely very minimal at this moment. He said the biopsy is the most sensitive test they have, so this is great and gives us some breathing room.
  2. I met with a lung surgeon at USC this week and he thinks we can surgically remove the few growing nodules in the lung. The surgery will be invasive, but not like the last one where they opened up my chest.

Moving forward, I meet with Dr. Lenz on Monday for hopefully treatment and to start working on a surgery date.

I said hopefully because we have been having some issues, not with the treatments themselves, but with my body responding/bouncing back from each treatment. My blood platelets have been low and it has caused us to delay the last couple of treatments, waiting for them to rebound. Basically, since June of last year, I’ve been getting chemo every two weeks. I think 16 straight treatments. So my body’s a bit worn down.

On Monday, we might do a reduced dosage and see how I respond, or remove the drug that’s causing the low platelets (but obviously it’s the more powerful/effective drug). There’s also a possible trial at USC. So we’re still figuring it out, but super happy where we’re at.

Overall, feeling good about the progress and great about being in this new phase. We have a couple trips planned. Mammoth in a few weeks, and then Japan this Summer!

Thanks again for all the support. We gots this.

Ian