Last week, we met with Dr. Carey and we came away very impressed by her attitude and wealth of knowledge. She was very interested in all of Lori’s previous tests and seemed eager to further investigate the details of her cancer. She gave the same diagnosis overall, but she wants to investigate the possibility of Lori’s type of cancer as being a hormone-based cell. Apparently, some of Lori’s labs showed hormone levels of 5% from her breast biopsies, and Dr. Carey considers anything more than 1% to potentially respond to hormone based therapy as opposed to the TNBC we have been targeting so far. That would be nice because HR cancers have far more known targets, and that could open up some treatment possibilities. Odds are this is TNBC, but she wants to be 100% sure. She also requested a copy of the genome mapping results from Paradigm Labs. Although the report never matched Lori’s tumor to an FDA-approved drug, Dr. Carey wants to see why, and she wants to determine if the results can lead us to a good trial in the future. She also discussed PARP inhibitors with us briefly, and those are certainly an option next since Lori was BRCA 1 positive. Overall, my impression of Dr Carey is that she is possibly more knowledgeable and almost as personable as Dr. S. Her staff is also excellent. They marched the whole team into the exam room including all of the nurses and med students, etc. The staff at UNC was exceptionally friendly and welcoming which I’ve found to be the standard at every cancer clinic that we’ve visited. Lori thinks they are “nicest” at UNC though, and that’s a big deal to her!
We’ve had a very good week at the house just getting back into a routine and preparing for another semester of home-schooling for Claire.
Lori’s pain is almost non-existent, but when she does feel bone pain, it is very muted due to the constantly-working pain pump. Fatigue is her only side effect so far, and she easily overcomes that with one long nap each day; sometimes she naps in the morning, sometimes in the evening.
Tomorrow, she has a chemo infusion (staying with Doxil). I don’t know that Lori’s tumor has shrunk any more over that past week, but it certainly hasn’t grown. We’ll see how Doxil does for another round.
Friday, we are dropping Jude off at my sister’s house in Greensboro then taking the older two kids to Disney World. We’re flying out of Raleigh Saturday late morning, and we’ll fly back next Thursday. We’re praying for strength for Lori as the timing with this infusion is kind of poor. For a long time, she has been looking forward to seeing the kids’ faces as they take in all of the sights at Disney.
Lately, Lori has been re-reading Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life. She has always loved its perspective, and she’s moving through it again this time reading through a slightly different lens. It’s funny how this diagnosis changes everything for us in a way that makes certain books or Scripture references pronounced in new ways. Anyhow, she’s really enjoying it, and I think she may eventually post some of her thoughts on this blog.