LOW BLOW!

Below is a photo taken a couple of days ago of  Steven Adams, a seven-foot tall ex-rugby player turned NBA center, kissing the court after he was just kicked in the gonads.


I know how Mr. Adams feels.  After a declining CEA cancer marker two weeks ago brought calls for celebration, today Lee and I met with Dr. P to go over yesterday’s PET/CT scan. Apparently my lung tumors have been having a party. They are fat and happy and continuing to grow. We also discovered that the high temperature that inspired another trip to the ER about 10 days ago, with an ongoing low grade fever, is most likely caused by those same frisky lung tumors. So after just four sessions of the second line chemo drugs, we say bye bye and thanks for nothing. Fortunately, my liver is still behaving itself with no significant changes. What a nice liver I have. I’ll treat it to something very tasty to process this evening.

So no chemo for me today, as Dr. P needs to get approval from the insurance company before proceeding to the third line of chemo treatment. The next drug is TAS-102 (Lonsurf).  It was just approved by the FDA for colon cancer last year, but only for those not responding to the other array of drugs. So it’s still all sparkly, new, and VERY expensive.  Dr. P told us that the FDA approval of TAS-102 was unusually fast. Interestingly, since  the guy in charge of these approvals lost his wife to ovarian cancer a year ago, there has been a much speedier process at the FDA. Maybe he has a better understanding of how life and death and time work.  Also, President Obama and VP Biden have been pushing agencies and drug companies to cooperate to move the ball forward faster. For Stage IV cancer patients, time is not our friend.  I’m glad to see some progress and cooperation to speed things along.

Lee has decided to rename this drug the Tasmanian Devil as it whirls around my lungs and liver chewing up tumors!

There is a big plus with the TAS-102 regimen, NO infusions.  That means I won’t be spending the better part of a day in the chemo suite every other week.  All Jimmy has to do is take a pill Monday thru Friday for two weeks, then nothing for the next two weeeks!  Maybe I can catch up on my paintings.  Of course there are the usual array of side effects with TAS-102.  The big one is a hard hit on the immune system, transfusions are not uncommon with TAS-102.  So it’s lining up to be the battle of the Giants.  My super “Go Ducks” immune system vs. the TAS-102 collateral damage assault.

For those who are wondering what comes next if the Tasmanian devil drug is ineffective, the situation is as follows: I will either participate in a clinical trial or go on hospice. There is no viable fourth line treatment for me.  Yup, that’s the low blow I was talking about. There is no sugar-coating the fact the clock is ticking, but as usual, we take it one day at a time around here and enjoy life as much as we can.

I have been catching up a bit on my paintings, but still lots to do.

 

 

Advertisements

37 thoughts on “LOW BLOW!

  1. had to google tas-102. sounds like it works well for some people. I thought it was interesting that the people who participated in the drug study reported side effects at 52% for the placebo group and 67% for those given the drug. if I remember the numbers correctly. a pill once a day sounds mucho better than the pump for 3 days. fingers crossed, love you, james.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The regimen is way better. This drug has been effective, but you just never know how an individual will respond . But overall it generates a 34% increase in life span. Sounds better than two months doesn’t it?

      Hopefully will land an immunotherapy trail, there are none in AZ right now. Our oncologist is working on it. We’re doing OK

      Like

  2. Prayers flowing for the both of you. Much appreciation to you for how you are handling this battle. The third time is the charm. Everyone of us needs to be thankful for every day. Each day is a gift. Cheers and GO TAZ!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim and Lee. My heart is with you as you traverse this curvy road. My life is happier since I can see my kids more often back in Wi. Sending. Best wishes to you. Jane

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Big Jim, U in town the next couple of weeks? I’m gong to be in ur neck of the woods. Might bring along a decent bottle of vino if ur around… Will also check in with Dave Alhart. Cheers…! Best, Max

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  5. I read. I understood. I said eff all that. Wish I could swing by for a visit and a glass of wine. Will have the glass of wine anyway. (I mean, you would too, right?) Will toast the success of the Tasmanian Devil.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A low blow is no newcomer to Jimmy A. Prepare your dust devil whirlwind with the Tasmanian devil drug as we all send you our Love. The paintings are capturing such a
    unique pet portraiture that I wonder “Who’s Dat” Jimmy A.is really enjoying the creative process. Thank you Jimmy. The only form of better solidarity than Wine is creating Art. Very close since they both are art!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Keep fighting those devils. We’re behind you wanting to do what we can so we can enjoy a mighty number of glasses of wines to eternity.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your CEA is still the envy of the neighborhood, and your immune system is world class. Now you’ve got the devils to sic on ’em. I like your odds a lot.

    Like

    1. Disappointments seem to be part of the Froi, thanks for your words of encouragement Have you tried Tas-102/Lonsurf? It cost $13k a month and my copy is $3000!

      Like

  9. Today we remember all the nation’s warriors. You are definitely one heck of a warrior, Jim, you keep fighting (and painting and enjoying food and wine) and we’ll keep cheering you on. Marj

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi you two beautiful people…
    I’m sitting here in the beauty of our Oregon forest and thinking of you both…wishing I could beam you here to enjoy a bit of the Pacific Northwest…sunshine, blue sky, still some blooming rhododendrons, the white dogwood in full bloom, foxgloves, and the silence of the forest. Your latest news has brought you both more present for me…in my thoughts, my heart, my days as we settle back into our home here for the summer.
    When I think of both of you…it is about your resilience, your grit, your open hearts that welcome all the love that comes your way. I am sending an extra dose from Oregon, right now.
    Love to you both,
    Pat

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s