Cancer Journal 13, 2019

Just twenty more radiation treatments to go. I’ve completed one third of them. The skin on my chest and back can attest to the fact that I’ve had treatments. It’s tender and, in a place or two, slightly inflamed as if I’ve been sunburned. I gather it will intensify. I’ve been less “beat” for the last two days, but past performance is no guarantee of future results. We shall see.

The possibility of switching oncologists got a bit more complex today. I got a phone call from Caris Life Sciences, which called to get help confirming my supplemental insurance information so they can call for pre-approval of a “molecular intelligence” assessment of the tissue taken from my biopsy. Apparently, based on what I’ve read on the company’s website, the assessment was ordered by my oncologist. The assessment is, as I understand it, undertaken to determine options with regard to immune checkpoint inhibitors. I gather, from this information alone, that my oncologist is exploring possibilities beyond the chemo-therapy and may be considering immunotherapy (which I gather can be both expensive and potentially dangerous with respect to side effects). At any rate, before I boot her from my care team, I want to ask her some more questions: 1) What is this Caris Life Sciences issue all about? 2) Was there any reason I was unaware of it and learned it from Caris instead of my health care team? 3) Am I the only patient you’ve had who has experienced serious problems in communications in both directions?  My next visit with her won’t be until my next chemo treatment, January 28. I guess it will wait.

I got my hair cut yesterday. Not bald by any stretch, but short enough (on the sides) that shaving won’t be particularly noticeable if my hair begins to fall out. But I couldn’t bring myself to cut the top that short. No big deal, but just another thing on my list of things to think about.



About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Cancer Journal 13, 2019

  1. Bev. Your comments make me smile and keep me happy! 😉

  2. bev wigney says:

    Again, this is mostly a technical comment. Actually, I think it a good thing that your oncologist may be wanting to know more about any biopsy or tumour materials. Immunotherapy is kind of where it’s at with regard to dealing with any possible future recurrence. As you know, LC is pretty tenacious, so you want to have a backup plan in place in case you need to treat, or maybe even just prevent any recurrence. As for risk — I have a friend in the states whose mom has lung cancer that was staged beyond yours at the start, I believe. She’s in her 80s, has done the chemo – actually, 2 lines of it, so far. Now, I believe she is doing immunotherapy and actually seems to have been doing pretty okay so far. I often see pics of she and her daughter out for seafood, burgers, or big breakfasts, with a cocktail on the side, etc.. I take it she’s feeling not too bad if she is getting out for dinners. I believe she just just got a new kitten recently after her old cat died, so I think she is intending to be around for awhile yet. 🙂 Anyhow, I think it’s good to get advanced lab work done in case it is needed. Treatment of NSCLC is a lot more proactive than it was 10 years ago. As for the radiation — yes, it will probably get worse by the end and for awhile after. Again, talk to people who know about best ways to deal with it. Breast cancer patients may actually be good resource people — or websites for BC — as radiation to the chest is usually necessary — sometimes quite a bit. Sounds like you are doing okay though. Carry on, sir. Keeping kicking some Cancer ass!!

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