Today was my doctor’s his first day back from vacation, and I knew he would have plenty of calls to make. I was very surprised when a voicemail popped up on my phone at 11:15 this morning. ‘Of all calls not to ring through…’ I thought, and called him immediately. After waiting on hold for less than a minute, my doctor came on the line.
The news wasn’t good. The cancer has worsened in my right lung. The scan also showed increased disease in the lymph nodes in my chest. And for the first time, the lymph nodes in my upper abdomen also appear cancerous. My other major organs and bones are still cancer-free; I forgot to ask about the spot on my spine.
I’m clearly finished with Gemzar. It didn’t do a damn thing. So now my doctor and I need to figure out where to go next.
He has calls into his contacts at two major cancer centers to check the status of clinical trials for two second generation drugs for ALK+ cancers. (My doctor affectionately calls them “Son of Xalkori.”) One drug was created by Ariad and is known as AP26113. The other is a Novartis effort known as LDK378.
I have mixed feelings about joining a trial; my decision will largely depend on which phase I would be joining and what my doctor recommends. It’s also important to note that the people who run the studies could decide I am not a good candidate.
I will speak with my doctor again on Monday. Hopefully by then we will know enough to figure out what Plan D will entail.