We met with our Oncologist Friday for the first time to get an idea of what treatment for Angie is going to look like from here. From here out he’s pretty much our guy. He’ll coordinate the rest of her care… That’s the good news; we really like our doctor.
Before starting treatment she’s scheduled for 2 more tests; the first one is a bone scan on Thursday. The CT scan we did to check for any spread doesn’t do a great job of looking into bone, so this is one more precautionary look. If nothing showed up on the CT it’s very unlikely we’ll find anything on this one, but he’s covering all bases. Good thing, but one more little bit of anxiety… On October first she’s going in for something called a “MUGA” scan, it’s a look at the condition of the heart. This one is to get a baseline pre-treatment so they can monitor for signs of a problem while she is undergoing chemotherapy. (One of the drugs she will be getting has a risk of congestive heart failure)
Angie will get 3 different chemo drugs, the first two will be given together in 4 sessions 2 weeks apart starting the first week in October. The third drug will start after those are finished and will be another 4 sessions 2 weeks apart. 16 weeks. Normally with the tumor she had he would recommend radiation after that, but we’ll talk more about that later. Her lupus complicates things, it sounds like we’re going to be talking with her lupus specialist and a radiation oncologist before that decision is made.
The initial pathology report from her tumor showed a ‘weak’ match for a protein called HER2, we should know in a couple of weeks the result of a more specific test. If this comes back positive it is a good thing, it means that the tumor is fed by that protein, and there is a drug which will suppress it. In that case she’ll start that drug (Herceptin) concurrent with the second round of chemo and keep taking it every 2 weeks for a year.
After all of that… we’re looking at further (but far less brutal!) oral drug therapy for probably 5 years.
– Bone scan Thursday (9/20)
– ‘MUGA’ scan (heart) 10/1
– First Chemo 10/4, then every 2 weeks for 4 months
– Possible radiation in late January?
– Possible year of Herceptin treatments (IV, every 2 weeks)
So thanks again to everyone who is caring so well for us, but please continue to pray! It’s still a long road ahead…