I just spent the last couple of nights in the hospital, getting discharged today. I do feel a lot better than when I went in. When I told my oncologist about my headaches and vomiting, he had me checked into the ER hours later. Given my history, he was worried something serious might be going on. The ER did a CT scan of my head, couldn’t find anything really wrong so they admitted me into the hospital for further testing. It was more of an observation hospital stay than a treatment stay. Anyway, they performed a brain MRI and a full CT scan of my whole body. The brain MRI turned out to be clear. My headaches are vomiting must be from the leftover side effects of the brain radiation. An oncology nurse friend told me it’s like a brain injury, it takes a long time to heal completely. Meanwhile, I have to take some medicine to control the symptoms. The CT scan did not turn out well which I expected. Progression of the lung and liver tumors are both shown. Tarceva, the gene inhibitor drug I had high hopes for is not working. It’s not helping me at all, so there is no point in taking it any longer.
My oncologist wants me to try immunotherapy even though it has not been proven for my type of cancer. Immunotherapy is the newest way to treat cancer. A Nobel Prize was won for that a couple of years ago. Unlike chemo, it doesn’t try to use drugs to kill the cancer. Instead, it boosts the immune system so that the immune system kills the cancer. Patients that respond to the treatment responds very well and have long last effect. He has not treated anyone with gene mutation with this method because only 5% of cancer patients have gene mutation. I decided to give it a try. I have nothing to lose at this point. If nothing else, I donate this body to science while I am still alive. Maybe I get better from it. Maybe someone else will learn something from my experience. Either way, the side effects sounded manageable. I will likely start the treatment next week. It’s one treatment every 3 weeks. I agreed to try it for 3 months and see what happens.