Dear Family and Friends,
I thought Thanksgiving might be a good time to share some good news with all of you and add just a few more reasons to everyone’s “what I am thankful for” list.
On October 1st Stu started on the drug lorlatinib as part of a Phase 2 clinical study. The first three-week cycle included spending 10-hour Thursdays at Dana-Farber during which Stu received hourly blood draws and 9 EKGs after being dosed with the new drug. The next three Thursdays were also “Dana Days” but alternated between five and ten hours. Stu was definitely feeling better, presumably from the new drug, but we wouldn’t know for sure until the next scans. Those happened at the end of this six-week period. On November 18, Stuart had a follow up brain MRI and CT scan along with an echocardiogram. On Thursday, November 19, we met with the oncologists.
And here is where we tie this in to Thanksgiving. The doctors were beyond thrilled with what they saw—or should I say, didn’t see! The brain looked “near resolution” with major reductions in the visual cancer. This, according to our oncologists, is unusual with Stu’s type of brain metastases. Usually the cancer is held stable with perhaps a small amount of shrinkage but it rarely almost disappears! (One of the oncologists saw the results and immediately called our radiation oncologist to tell him he had to go “now” and look at this scan…that he won’t believe what he sees! His response to them after seeing the scan was, “I think you guys are onto something!”)
The chest CT was just about clear as well. In fact our oncologist said to her it was clear but only to a radiologist would there still be some visible remnants. We could not have hoped for a better first round of trial scans!! Each and every day we continue to be amazed by our doctors and the researchers behind them, and for that we are thankful.
On November 30, we will be celebrating Stu’s 55th birthday! For anyone, their 55th is a big milestone, but for us each and every birthday is huge and for that we are thankful.
We couldn’t have made it this far without the love and support, kind words, helping hands, and more that we have received from all of you through this roller coaster ride, and for that we are thankful. The roller coaster will inevitably continue, and we will need you to help keep us tethered in our seats.
So on this Thanksgiving, with so much to be thankful for, Stu and I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday and hope we have given you a little more to be thankful for as well.
With love and gratitude,
P.S.—The best birthday present is the hope of celebrating another birthday. We appreciate all those who have contributed to our fund at Dana-Farber to help finance the much needed research in advanced lung cancer research. We have seen first-hand how well these new cancer drugs work. Until they don’t. We need the research and treatments to keep one step ahead of the cancer. For those of you who have asked how you can help or what can you do for Stu’s birthday, a donation to our fund is always greatly appreciated.