Confirmed Responder… someone pinch me!

It’s taken a weekend of recovery and trying to grasp my news in order to write this. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. Perhaps it won’t until I have a copy of scan results I can hold and reread in 9 weeks. In any case, as I try to grasp hope that feels so slippery, here is the story of Thursday!

I woke up Thursday to get the kids off to school before Danny and I planed to head to the cancer center for my labs, a visit with my oncologist and then dose two of Anti-PD1. Our plans had to change when our 6 year old who we typically DRAG out of bed for school was waiting for me on the couch complaining of a stomach ache. Poor girl had a tummy bug. So, knowing that my infusion was going to be simple and relatively quick, we decided Danny would stay home on sick kiddo duty while I braved the cancer center by myself. (We do have backup support if I’d needed it, but sometimes going alone is easier than mentally changing my gameplan to include a new equation.)

I got to the cancer center and had my port accessed and 10 vials of blood drawn. I then had my pre treatment EKG and was complimented on my aura of peace and calm by the PA administering the EKG. She was very sweet and has clearly never seen me on a scan result day! After the typical LONG wait to see my oncologist, he came in and noticed I’d lost weight (always a nice way to begin an appointment, right?) Then asked if I’d noticed a difference in my tumors. I told him yes and smiled and he GRINNED the rest of the appointment! He listened and didn’t even laugh when I described my odd method of measuring my tumor with my hand. He than did my physical and right away when he looked at my groin tumor confirmed “It is definitely smaller.” The rest of the appointment was a bit of a blur because I was SO excited! Dr C told me I was a responder to the drug and told me how nice it was to have such a positive appointment with me. Just one dose and I am a responder!?! I can’t even describe the emotions that came with that statement. I was SO excited! Talk about steriods here I headed upstairs to wait to get called back to the research infusion room to recieve dose two of Anti-PD1. I called Danny while I waited to share my incredible news!

My drug seems to take a LONG time for the pharmacy to prepare. My research nurse gave the pharmacy the heads up to begin preparing the drug and we filled out some research paperwork about side effects and how I am feeling while I waited. After about a hour wait, I was called back to the research infusion area. I was given my premeds and we began the 30 minute wait (can you tell days at the Cancer Center involve a LOT of waiting?) for the meds to work and crossed our fingers that the medication would arrive before I was due to take them. The infusion room had friendly patients and support people who celebrated with me when I told my infusion nurse that the drug was working! I wish I could tell those folks how much it meant that the celebrated with me since I was alone for my infusion and just bursting with excitement! My drug arrived just in time and I began my 30 minute infusion before heading home to celebrate with the family! Praise God!

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