Finding Feelings

August 14, 2020

As I walked into the Cancer Care Clinic on Wednesday, I was pondering the last six months.  It seems forever ago that I had laparoscopic surgery to get good biopsy material for clinical trial testing. That was the end of February, pre Covid chaos as we now know.  A couple of weeks later and I’m not sure that this surgery would have been considered necessary.  To say that the last six months have been a walk in the park would be ridiculous.  It’s been hard, some days really hard.  Floating in and out and through these hard moments there have been mega doses of joy and love and gratitude. Let me focus on what’s important because the other stuff, the hard stuff while very real and must be acknowledged, is draining and I need more energy right now, not less.

Wednesday would have been my fifteenth infusion of the RAIN 701 clinical trial drug. CT scans were performed on Monday and I got a heads up on what they revealed; progression in my abdomen. My lung remains stable but because of worsening progression and worsening side effects, I’m out of the trial. That’s the hard news. The good news is that a couple of weeks ago, my UC team sent in a frozen tissue sample from the February biopsy to be tested for a different clinical trial taking place at UC. I received news yesterday that I qualified for pre screening which means that I am starting the clinical trial process over again. There will be more labs, and scans and potentially another biopsy to begin next week.

How do I feel about this? 

The RAIN trial proved challenging at times.  Going in for infusion every week was a new experience for me and most of the side effects were ones I hadn’t experienced before.  The best part of the every week experience was really getting to know my UC team.  They have been most extraordinary. Truly. I feel very good about this. 

However, another drug, my sixth line of therapy feels daunting. Why another clinical trial? Because dear reader, clinical trials are where the excitement is. This is the arena where ground breaking discoveries are being made.  According to a new article from STAT, (https://www.statnews.com/2020/08/13/lung-cancer-deaths-declining-faster-than-new-cases-due-to-advances-in-treatment/ ) we are making a significant dent in longer survivorship for lung cancer patients, something that was only a dream a few years ago and why I advocate for lung cancer research and participate in clinical trials.

If for some reason I don’t pass the pre screening I will be returning to my SNMWO at Kaiser. I’ve missed seeing him but we have kept in contact and I know that he is only a phone call or an email away if I need his support, advice and care.  

In other news, because life hasn’t stopped regardless of Covid and cancer, my Mom had a stroke a few weeks ago.  The hardest part for me is not being with her, my Dad and my family.  She has made exceptional strides but still has a ways to go. My sisters and extended family are doing a heroic job of making sure my parents are being taken care of and I am blessed to have such a loving and large family, but it wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that I am feeling quite helpless.

No, this has not been an easy six months but as my Dad is prone to say, “I woke up this morning and I’m standing on top the grass and looking up at the sky. God is good”. 

8 thoughts on “Finding Feelings

  1. Dear Peggy,
    We always appreciate your updates, and continue to be inspired by you, your energy and committment to life. Sending you lots of love and our continued daily prayers.
    😘
    Kate

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  2. Peggy, I am amazed at your strength and resilience. Thank you for extending your Spirit into these undiscovered territories. You are a courageous trailblazer. Daily, I look at your Christmas postcard with Tess and Jim and give thanks to you all cause you keep me going! Sending you boat loads of healing energy my friend.

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  3. God bless your Dad!! That is a great perspective.
    Peggy, my heart missed a beat when I read the outcome of the trial you have been doing. You are thankless in your willingness to help ALL people dealing with lung cancer. You are an angel in this….. I don’t want to use the word battle, so help me choose a different word. You have become MY hero!!

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  4. WE LOVE YOU PEG. And if you need anything, anything at all, just ask. We are family and we help each other out, no matter what. Keeping you in my prayers and praying for good news on this next trial. We hope you qualify. Keep looking at the sky. God IS good.

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  5. Peggy,

    I am so happy you are open for another trial. You are exactly right, it’s where the magic happens Your bravery and insight are an inspiration for all that know you , and to know you is to love you. I am sad to hear about your Mom, Family is everything g to you and Covid throws a huge monkey wrench into already complicated lives. Everyone leaning on each other, doing what they can is love in action. I send prayers and warmest well wishes to all. I thank you for sharing. ❤️♥️❤️

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  6. Peggy…I was sorry to hear about the trial. This next one will hopefully be the one. I heard about your mom…hope all is going well for her and the family. You have strong women in your family. Praying for your mom and for you! .sending lots of good thoughts and prayers to all. ♥️🙏💞🥰

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  7. Peggy you are in inspiration and your strength and determination are amazing to witness. Stay strong, I’m fighting with you.
    Leanna

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  8. Sweet Peggy, You have been through a lot – yikes. I love your Dad’s quote. So, so true. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers daily. Thanks for the update and waiting for the good news that you will qualify for the next clinical trial. God bless you and wrap his arms around you and give you strength. Barb S.

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