Dianne Update

Hi Everyone,

 

It has been awhile since I sent out an update on my cancer journey.  As you may recall, I had a recurrence in winter of 2017 and had surgery and did chemo therapy for 6 months.    The treatment was successful except for a small spot on my right sacrum, lower back area.  My Doctor at MDAnderson recommended that I do Proton Radiation Therapy to eliminate the remaining spot.  In the fall of 2017, I lived in Houston for about a month and did two radiation treatments a day for 3 weeks with light chemo.  Rachel came and stayed with me and we had a great time exploring Houston.  

 

After completing the Proton Radiation Treatment at MDAnderson in  Houston, I was NED, which in the cancer world means "No Evidence of Disease" and I was told to come back every  2 months for  follow up PET scans.  When I returned in January, it was revealed that I had some new tiny spots on my left lung which were too small to biopsy and they said come back in two months, however, they believed this was also cancer.  So, for the last year I have been going back to MDAnderson every two months for PET scans to monitor the lung spots.  They are stable, meaning unchanged,  and still too small to biopsy.  

 

However, during the last few scans, the spot in the right sacrum, lower back area began to light up again.  PET scans light up when they detect cancer.  This meant that my cancer was back in that area.  My doctor put me on Light chemo, a pill form which I did for the last few months.  However, I didn't like the way it made me feel and I decided that I wanted to find another option. I started searching for trials.  Unfortunately, my cancer was too small, you must  have at least 1cm of disease to be in a trial  so basically I had to wait until my cancer grew to that size.  With my last PET scan, in early December,  it was finally at 1cm.  

 

As of last week, I started an Immunotherapy trial at the National Institutes of Health, NIH here in Washington DC.  Basically, you have you own immune system fight the cancer instead of taking poisonous chemo.  I  will be receiving the immunotherapy drugs every two weeks for the next year.  They have a very promising track record so far, about a 60% success rate with the cancer going into remission.  Immunotherapy is the future for cancer treatment. Much less side effects than chemo and greater success rates. A friend of mine just completed this trial and is now cancer free.  

 

So, I am  very excited to have been accepted into this trial and we are very hopeful.  I continue to remain positive and live every day to the fullest.  For the most part, I feel totally normal and I still exercise regularly so I think I am in a good position to approach this trial.  

 

Thank you for your support during the last two years of my journey.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate it and I am thankful that you are all in my life. 

 

Happy Holidays

 

Dianne

3 people threw a punch at your cancer.
Becky, Janice sent you a prayer.
6 people sent you a hug.
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Glad to hear you sound so positive. Immunotherapy is definitely the future of fighting this awful disease. Merry Christmas!
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Thank you for the update! I am so relieved to hear about the trial, and I pray the immunotherapy not only agrees with you but puts you in remission as well! I love your attitude and outlook, you inspire me. Happy Holidays ❤️
Easterly, Dianne58 like this comment
I LOVE the NIH, used to donate platelets there for the cancer patients, for many years when I lived there. Someone on this blog did that, her name was "E" and she was pronounced NED from her trial. Onward!
Easterly, Kim like this comment
Wow, you have been through a lot with all that travel and scanning! I’m so happy you were accepted into the trial and I hope the next year goes well for you🙏🏼 I also hope you can relax a bit and enjoy the holiday season - so good to hear that you have stayed strong - what an inspriration you are!
Easterly, Dianne58 like this comment
I am glad to see your update. While I'm not happy that your tumor increased in size, I'm glad that you finally got into the immunotherapy trial at NIH. It sounds very promising and I hope your results will show successful results! Please keep us posted as you are able and best wishes!
Dianne58 likes this comment
That's positive news Dianne and very hopeful. I thank God every day for chemo and radiation but if there's another way to get rid of cancer without future residuals, THANK YOU Jesus! Best for the holidays and new year.
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