Today we met with Dr. Urba to review the results of the CT Scan done last Friday. Because Mark has been feeling so much better we were confident that results would be positive, and they are!!! All tumors in soft tissue are basically gone. There is a mass in the area where the tumor in his adrenal gland was removed. It is the about the same size as in the last scan, so while it hasn’t shrunk, it hasn’t grown. Lesions in the bone are harder to tell with a CT, but they obviously have shrunk since his pain has continued to decrease. Whether there are still live cancer cells there, we won’t know until Mark has a PET scan in 12 weeks.
Side effects are minimal - just some skin rashes on his face and ears. Fatigue is the most common, affecting about 80% of patients. Back in December and January he was extremely fatigued, but has continued to gain more and more stamina. It seems that for him, the fatigue is more associated with the tumors than the medication. Once again, we realize how fortunate we are!
This was his last infusion with Galectin. Infusions will still be every three weeks with Ketruda only. For how long? Most likely for a full year or possibly longer, depending on how he responds. At any point the tumors could become resistant to the drugs and start growing again, at which point we would try another treatment. They could stop growing, but not go away. Side effect could kick in and become a deterrent. Of course, our hope is they will DISAPPEAR and NEVER RETURN!
It was awesome seeing Dr. Urba again! He has become a dear friend. While buying lunch in the cafeteria to take up to Mark, Dr. Urba saw me and motioned for me come over and insisted that he pay for our lunch - a kind gesture. Our appointments with him are always much longer than with the nurse practitioners, as he just likes to visit. We thoroughly enjoy those visits which are about every three month. The next time we see him will be right after the PET scan. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for that one!
At the first of the year we were gearing up for a tough go of it, as least for a while, although we always had hope that the treatment would work. We just didn’t expect the side effects to be so minor. Mark is back to full steam ahead. After 5 hours at the Providence Cancer Center, we bought plants and planted about half of our garden – no naps and he feels just fine. Well, we’re both tired, but we aren’t young pups anymore!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your faith, prayers, love and support. We think of so many others who are going through challenges and our hearts go out to them. Life can certainly be challenging, but through it all, we can find peace. We just saw this video that we’d like to share. Go to https://youtu.be/Ly9xk59Qkfc .
Wishing you joy and love this Easter Season,
Mark & Ane