It's hard to know where to begin when you haven't blogged for more than a MONTH. Sorry about that.
Mat completed the round of radiation for the lump in his chest. The daily appointments were a bit too early in the morning for Mat, who likes to arise at the crack of noon, and the regular slog to MGH was tiring for him, but he made it. Even three weeks after radiation has ended, the lump continues to shrink, and we're hoping it will soon be a distant memory.
We were caught off guard in the middle of the month when Mat's doctor suggested he start a new clinical trial. (Why does anything still surprise us at this point? Because we are creatures of habit, and we fear change.)
My first reaction: you've got to be kidding me. The clinical trial Mat tried this spring was a disaster. He was sick a lot of the time and spent the rest of the time being rehydrated at the hospital. His association with the drug and throwing up became so ingrained that he sometimes threw up in anticipation of the weekly dose.
After the idea of a new clinical trial settled in for awhile, it started to feel better. There are some pretty good indications that the 5-FU has done all it can for Mat, and it's time to look for something else. With the 5-FU being our metaphorical scrape at the bottom of the barrel, a month ago I would have said there is nothing else.
No more drugs for Mat to try.
No soup for you. (We just finished watching all nine seasons of Seinfeld -- could you tell?)
Now it looks like there's something else to try. It is not lost on me that this may be the answer to many many people's prayers. There is one opening in the trial right now, and it was offered to Mat.
On top of that, Mat's doctor was visibly excited about this new drug. It's reported to have milder side effects than the 5-FU and work in similar ways to drugs that have worked for Mat in the past.
The hard part has been waiting. Mat had to wait several weeks after his last radiation treatment before starting the clinical trial, so since about mid-November has been off chemo.
That kind of break was welcome a few months ago, but at this point of increasingly rapid cancer growth, it scares us.
The waiting is almost over. Mat will spend Wednesday at MGH getting various scans and blood tests to see if he qualifies for the clinical trial. (Mat's doctor expects that he will. I am trying unsuccessfully not to get my hopes up and will be crushed if he doesn't qualify.)
If he does qualify, Mat will start the trial a week from Wednesday.
Keep the prayers coming!