Well y’all (pardon me, I’ve been in Texas too long) I know this update has been highly anticipated, so I hope it doesn’t disappoint.
Before I get into the details… I want to get something crystal clear. Many of you (with great intentions) have hoped and prayed for a miracle. You are right: A miracle is what will be in order for me to survive this. I have stage IV cancer of an incurable disease. This means that I will be on some sort of treatment for the rest of my life. What tiny miracles we are looking for are additional treatment options to buy me more time.
Now, with that being said, that is why we went to Houston, because about the time I got in the bike accident/excess insulin drama we also discovered that although the third type of a very expensive chemo was great at controlling my tumor markers, it didn’t do so hot at controlling my actual tumors. In the three months I was on the treatment the tumors in my liver grew, and now they cover nearly 100% of my liver – which used to only be about 65% covered. With the price of that old chemo, I often joked that I should sweat sparkles. (Okay, I might have said shit sparkles – I’ll let you decide which one you prefer to remember.)
Back to Houston. We met with a team of providers that only see and treat nueroendocrine patients. I was reminded once again that science has not quite caught up to this disease and no one has figured out what causes it. It’s just plain and simple bad luck. My team in Houston plan to work together with my team in Las Cruces. Some tests and treatments will need to occur in Houston while others can happen back home. Right now, my chief complaint is the side effects of the medicine that is regulating my insulin. This crap is nasty stuff!!! There are some targeted and directed therapies that might be able to isolate those insulin-secreting tumors and calm them down (music to my ears).
My oncologist also informed me that he will be presenting my case to 20 of his peers at a team conference where they will discuss as a group the details of my case and make recommendations based on everyone’s areas of expertise.
So, to answer the single pain-staking question: No, MD Anderson did not have the miracle to rid this cancer from my tired body. But, what I walked out of there with was many new sets of eyes, many more options, I am now entered into their research database to help advance medicine for the next generation, I have an appointment to go back, a relationship with an expert and the very most important thing I had almost lost… new-found hope.