November 15, 2019
Tuesday at 6:31 pm, SNMWO called and said, “Is this a good time to talk?” My heart picked up speed and my palms were sweaty as I sent a silent reminder to myself to breathe. I had that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when something big is about to be revealed. He was calling to tell me that he had heard from Dr. Camidge about my biopsy results.
The biopsy went well. The Interventional Radiologists (the “s” because there were two) found their target and extracted samples which pathology deemed sufficient. Two hours later, Jim and I were home making dinner.
Then we waited. For 12 days we waited.
I was expecting one of the clinical trial coordinators to call letting me know that yes, I was eligible for at least one of the ADC trials. What I wasn’t expecting was SNMWO calling to say they didn’t find the necessary proteins being tested for because they couldn’t find cancer cells in any of the samples.
Excuse me…WHAT? HOW? WHY?
Is this good news or bad news? GULP…
He assured me that the biopsy team was top notch of which I have no doubt. I was with them for over an hour as they talked me through what they were doing. At least I think that’s what was happening. I was under the influence of happy drugs and only pretending I was awake. I do know the point of the needle could be seen inside the mass as this was a CT guided procedure. Four core tumor samples were taken with an 18 gauge needle in the area of the tumor where activity was seen on the PET scans in June and again in September. So how could this be? I know that solid tumors consist of cancerous as well as non cancerous tissue which is why scans are so important in this kind of biopsy. One or maybe two negative findings would be easier to understand than four. SNMWO and I are perplexed. The upshot is I won’t be starting a clinical trial and it’s been three months since my last chemo infusion. So far this year, I’ve spent more time off of treatment than on… so who’s complaining.
The next step is a PET/CT on Nov. 25th. I have a follow-up appointment with SNMWO on the 26th to go over results and potentially start another line of chemotherapy, depending on what the scans reveal. Future clinical trials aren’t out of the question but I’m pretty certain each would require yet again, another biopsy. SNMWO said he didn’t want to make me into a human pincushion and I reminded him that I get acupuncture once a week so he has significant ground to cover to catch up. It makes me happy to hear him belly laugh.
Peering through my rose colored glasses, I’m choosing to believe this is good news. However, I would be ever so grateful for your prayers and good vibes.
*For reference: SNMWO = Super Ninja Most Wonderful Oncologist