It’s been a couple of weeks since I updated this thing so, I figured I’d let everyone know how treatment is going. I started the trial drug combination a week ago, today. When I first heard the word ‘trial’ I assumed that it was just another shot in the dark. The reality is that these drugs have a good chance of helping, even if just a small amount. This particular trial is actually a combination of two drugs that have shown to be successful but have never been paired together. One drug is an immunotherapy that turns your immune system against the cancer and the other is an inhibitor that stops the cancer cells from multiplying. We are going this route because Chemotherapy has shown to have little success and will tear my destroy my body to the point where I will not be eligible for trials later. We found what we believe to be my best option for a cure and went for it!
Monday began with a lot of blood work, EKGs, and questions about my health. Soon after, they started me on the IV of the first drug which, went smoothly. It was painless and there were not any apparent side affects. Soon after I took my first dose of the pills. I am to take the pills twice a day, on the first and third week of the trial. The IV is only once a month at the beginning of the twenty-eight (28) day cycle. After I completed the dosing process, we were released to go home! We drove back down to Colorado Springs and I felt great. I actually went into work to meet with the coaches and tried to get a workout in….that was a bad choice. All of the side affects the doctor had warned me about hit me all at once. Hot flashes, nausea, fatigue, and worst of all upset stomach. Unable to finish my workout, I went home and laid down. I stayed in bed for about three days. The side affects came on strong and became much worse than I figured they would be. We tried everything but no matter what we did my stomach refused to settle and I couldn’t sleep without waking up covered in sweat. Finally, on Friday morning we had a follow up appointment with my Oncologist where we informed him of the intense side affects. He was upset that we didn’t say something sooner. I had lost eight (8) lbs in four (4) days due to lack of appetite and restlessness. In hopes to get me feeling better, the doctor combined my dose with a steroid in order to limit the side affects. Once the steroid hit my system I felt almost 80% better. The good news is… I have a week to recover and get back to feeling like myself again. I will be returning to work and the gym for this week with hopes that I am able to continue doing so throughout the upcoming doses next week as well.
As far as how break went, it was amazing! I was able to get down to Newnan to see my younger brother’s family as well as all of those family members who drove in. Also, Brandon Veasey and Britt were able to coordinate a little surprise get together of a group of Newnan folks that I was so excited to see (picture below). I was even able to see some of my old High School football coaches which was awesome! It was a huge surprise and again, I am taken back by the amount of support that I have. We then drove up to Nashville for New Years with some of the Academy boys.
Unfortunately, I do have to share some bad news. My hip pain has continued to grow and we found out why….the most recent MRI showed that the tumor in my hip has nearly doubled in size since October (to the size of 17cm by 12 cm). While this tumor does not threaten my life, it rests on my sciatic nerve so it has and is going to continue to cause a lot of pain. At this time, we are waiting to hear from my Orthopedic Surgeon to see what he thinks the best option is. I am keeping faith that it will all work out.
Lastly, I have to share something that was sent to me since my last post that’s helped me and might give you a little comfort. “Even when you can’t explain the WHY behind the WHAT you can trust the WHO.”
I love you all – no more complaining ‘Why Me’ and change it to ‘Try Me’