February 14, 2022
Oophorectomy. Actually, a Salpingo Oophorectomy, that’s when they take out the fallopian tubes along with the ovaries. Not a hysterectomy, the uterus stays to stand guard over the nether parts.
My ovaries…that’s where the cancer has been very slowly increasing for the past many months. Must mean that the treatment I’ve been on has stopped working, right? The answer is not necessarily that definitive. Cancer care is complex, as much art and intuition as science. When what might be considered oglioprogressive disease presents, the idea is that just that area(s) can be treated with surgery or radiation therapy, like what we did with SBRT (stereotactic body radiotherapy) to a right lung nodule in January of 2019. Other areas remain stable and hence make this surgery a good option. Another very significant reason to have my ovaries removed is that they are still small enough to take out before they potentially cause further trouble.
Two years ago, I began my clinical trial journey with UC Cancer Center, Lung Cancer Clinic. Clinical trial number one was RAIN Therapeutics’ Tarloxotinib, under the watchful eyes of the imminent Dr. Ross Camidge, Candice Rossi, NP and clinical trial coordinator, Nikki Conti followed by clinical trial number two, DESTINYLung01, with the brilliant Dr. Tejas Patil and clinical trial coordinator, Josh Saginaw, RN. My last appointment included not only thoroughly reviewed suggestions from Dr. Patil for ongoing treatment but a few tears as well. I will miss them and am forever grateful for the compassion, empathy, dedicated care and friendship they have so generously extended. I’ve been assured that I can still consider them members of my oncology team and that has made this transition easier.
Instead of totally changing gears with a new drug, (Number 7) we decided on treatment plan Number 6.5: Salpingo Oophorectomy and continue with Enhertu (clinical trial drug which was granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for NSCLC (HER2) by the FDA since I began the trial). What is true is that Enhertu has been very effective and we believe that I am still getting clinical benefit, despite the ovaries. I am once again back in the expert care of my SNMWO (for those new to the blog: Super Ninja Most Wonderful Oncologist) at Kaiser, Dr. Vignesh Narayanan. Dr. Sarah Whittier, gynecological oncology surgeon and robotics and laparoscopic specialist, will be performing my surgery this Thursday, February 17 and I will resume treatment March 7.
I’ll have had a nice long break from treatment, my last infusion was on December 30 and my body is responding well. Enhertu’s most troublesome side effects have been nausea, dehydration and vision issues. Acupuncture helps as does energy work and anti nausea meds. Most recently, I’ve added CBD oil daily. Now that the side effects have mostly resolved, I’m gearing up for the restart of treatment with mixed emotions. One day at a time.
For now, I say goodby to my ovaries and thank them for a job well done. Without them, we would not have been blessed with our incredible daughter who along with our loving son-in-law, gave us the gift of becoming grandparents!
Yes, thank you. Thank you very, very much.
p.s. Look who just turned ONE year old!