I haven’t made a medical update in a long time, because everything’s been pretty steady since I started the olaparib/bevacizumab combo (how do you like those drug names? XD) However, recently, the cancer markers in my blood have been rising a little bit each time. I had a CT scan last week that showed some growths increasing in size. It’s peritoneal metastasis, in case you’re curious how I can have ovarian cancer growth when my ovaries are long gone. Fortunately, the mass on my liver has not grown.
Anyone that’s followed my medical updates may remember (read: probably won’t remember) that back at the beginning of all this, Dr. M. presented three available treatments: chemotherapy, the olaparib/bevacizumab combo, and clinical trials of drugs not widely available yet. So we’ve exhausted those first two options; now on to the third!
The place is in Denver, called the Sarah Cannon Research Center, and is related to (another branch of?) the Cancer Center that’s been my second home here in the Springs. I’ve had a few conversations with the doctor that will be treating me there, Dr. F., and he seems pretty cool and optimistic. It will be a little inconvenient to have to go up to Denver all the time, but! it is soOoOo close to the Denver Zoo *___* I mean, it remains to be seen whether I get any benefit out of that.
At the SCRC, they’ll be treating me with new stuff that’s not yet on the regular market. It’s Phase 1 drug testing, which means the previous test subjects were ANIMALS. How awesome is that. It worked on rabbits, so now maybe it will work on me!! The drug Dr. F. mentioned doesn’t even have a name yet; it’s just a string of letters and numbers. I don’t actually know yet what the treatments entail; will I get injections? oral medications? some other route? And why, as Dr. F. informed me, are the appointments daylong? I’m waiting on a call from their schedulers to set a date when I can come in, see the facility, and sign a mountain of paperwork. (There’s a lot of government monitoring involved, you may be sure!)
Earlier this month, I got some car insurance, and my car registered, so supposedly now I can drive again. The registration cost literally twice as much as I expected, and what I really should have done was, when I heard the price, said, “Oh, you know what? I’m going to have to put this off ’til next month.” However, I’d gathered all the documents I needed, started paying for insurance on a car I couldn’t drive yet, sat through the wait time at the DMV, and done the conversation with the lady at the desk; it didn’t even occur to me to back out at that point — so now I have two bills due on the first and second, respectively, and $0 to pay them with XD
The reason I bring this up is because it would be really convenient not to have to depend on my dad to drive me to Denver and back all the time — convenient for me and for him. I am a little worried, though… I gave up driving a year and a few months ago because I was so debilitated by cancer and cancer treatment that I couldn’t physically do it. If the new drug ends up having debilitating side effects — a real possibility — I may not be able to drive again. Then I’ll really regret the registration and insurance. Oh, but it would be so nice to drive myself around. Dad insists on doing some maintenance on my car before I take it anywhere (which he hasn’t done yet), and right now I (obvs) have no money for gas or for, like, buying anything, so that eliminates the need to go anywhere until at least the third anyway… which means that, this month, I have spent $414 (out of my $958 disability payment) on a car that’s hibernating in the side driveway waiting for an oil change and its tires checked and some third thing I can’t remember off the top of my head.
OK, that kinda turned into a rant. But these medical updates have always had their financial side, so whatevs. Speaking of my dad. He’s been so funny about this. Every time I’ve talked about the clinical trial, he’s been like, So has anyone told you what you get out of this? And I’m like, How is this such a hard concept for you to understand? They’re treating me with an experimental drug that they hope will fight off my cancer. I mean, yes, there’s another goal in view: refining the drug, determining its dosage, etc. for future use in other cancer patients… but treating me is pretty much the entire point. Seriously, I can’t figure out why he doesn’t get that XD Even my mom asked me once whether they were going to pay me for taking part in this trial. And I’m like, Pay me by treating my cancer, yes…?
Aaaaaaanyway. There’s a washout period of at least a couple of weeks before I can start the trial, so at the moment I’m doing nothing at all cancer-related while the previous drugs leave my system. Dr. M. is concerned about those weeks, fearing the cancer will throw a wild party during that time, but there’s nothing to be done about it. I do wish the SCRC scheduler would call, though; I hate not knowing what’s going on and when.
And, yes. The possibility of an early death is coming back into focus. Ugh.