Last week saw yet another CT scan and, unfortunately, some progression: albeit slowly, my cancer is growing again. And so I am now looking at my third-line treatment. I must admit, its all a little surreal. I was going to be that girl who got years on each successive therapy, denying to odds and beating down the doors of a ripe old age. Strike that – I AM going to be that girl, just not the way I planned.
The new protocol is quite promising – a two-drug oral combination, the new one enhancing the strength of the older, tried-and-true treatment, and doing so significantly. One of the measures of a drug’s clinical value is “progression free survival” or how long, on average, before disease begins to progress again. The older drug offers about 4-5 months PFS, the new combination 11 months. (Your mileage may vary.) But I’ll take the extra six months – a lot can happen in six months!
I remember when was Zach born – time moved in hours, days and eventually weeks. We measured his progress month by month, eagerly awaiting a word, a step, a spoonful of food making its was into his mouth…. Not today however, today is 15 years and counting, eagerly awaiting a driver’s license at 16 and voting at 18 and drinking at 21. Time flies by in groups of years now, as John and I watch and wonder where it all went.
Meanwhile as adults we celebrate decades; our 30s and 40s, and now look straight into our 50s and picking up speed. We don’t celebrate 47 in quite the way we celebrated seven. Time passes quickly and the next decade is always just around the corner.
And now I’m back to measuring the months. Don’t get me wrong – I will plan to celebrate my 60s and 70s and 80s. But now time is measured in month by month, treatment by treatment, one protocol at a time.