While I knew the Yervoy treatment had not worked due to the growing tumors in the groin, I did not know that it had also metastasized further in the bone as well as new small spots in the liver and lungs until receiving the CT scan results yesterday at my appointment. I am starting a new immunotherapy treatment called Keytruda this Wednesday, August 19th at Lacks in Grand Rapids. From now on both of my infusions, Keytruda and Zometa (bone strengthening medicine) will occur together every three weeks indefinitely.
While the oncologist reminded me that mucosal melanoma is more aggressive than the regular type of melanoma and that there is not targeted treatment for my type of cancer due to it not being caused by the typical mutations, I still feel hopeful for this treatment. In fact, I have always felt this was the treatment I needed but was unable to have it until I first tried the Yervoy (according to the FDA guidelines). Recently, I came across an article about a man who was diagnosed with mucosal melanoma of the nasal cavity in 2008 whose cancer had spread throughout his body. Yervoy failed and he had to stop Keytruda due to the side effects. However, a month after discontinuing, his tumors shrank and he has no evidence of cancer today. This is the type of story that I need to hear to give me a boost and help me to remain hopeful.
The other recommendation from my appointment is to meet with a palliative care doctor to develop of plan of care to control the pain. Please also pray for this meeting as it is important for me to have the best medicine to help the pain but also allow me to function as normally as possible.
Even though I knew the stakes going into the appointment, it is still tough information to hear. I felt strong until thinking about telling my sons this new information. That is when I crumbled. Isn’t it every momma’s desire to protect her children no matter how old they are? I also let myself wallow a bit in self-pity yesterday, feeling more sloth-like than ever. But today is a new day, and I am keeping my eyes and ears open to all that God has in store for me. I ask for continued prayers for my family that we hold strong in faith and hope.
Hebrews 1:11 “To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.”