I saw my lead oncologist today to learn the results of yesterday’s scan, as well as what the next steps are.
TL;DR We have a plan, the results are a bit unknown, but it’s got a chance better than that of the proverbial hellish snowball, so I’m hopeful.
So, the scan showed some mixed results. Some tumors grew slowly or were stable, a few grew relatively a lot. Like tripled in size if I understand the math right. That’s kind of crappy. However! There are things we can do!
The very first thing that we’ll do is that I’ll start taking a blood pressure medication that has been shown, when taken alongside other cancer medications, to be helpful in restricting growth of sarcomas. Restricting growth is good. Essentially it somehow makes it harder for the sarcoma to grow blood vessels and get enough blood to grow. It can have some side effects so I’m supposed to be vigilant about actually using my asthma inhaler and letting my oncologist know if I start to have any trouble breathing and/or I feel like I’m breathing through soup (you know, when it’s not crazy insanely muggy out). That’s propranolol — Jarrod and I are both amused that it ends in lol.
The second thing is likely more stereotactic radiation on the biggest tumor. I’ll learn more about that Tuesday.
The third is that in three to five weeks, I’ll stop taking my chemo pills and start on Keytruda infusions once a week every three weeks. There are some possible serious side effects, but nausea and fatigue aren’t likely, so that’s kind of cool. There’s not a lot of evidence for how sarcomas respond to Keytruda. We need more research.
The studies that have been done have had very few people, but at least a few people have had a complete response and gone into remission. So, remission is still Highly Unlikely, but it’s possible and possible is a very good thing.
Kind of like finding peace and beauty at a hospital.