Finally. The day has arrived. The wait is over.
It’s time to fight.
Fight this cancer that has taken up residence in Travis’ body.
Travis and Carrie left for Houston on Wednesday. A road trip. Just the two of them. No kids. One purpose.
To fight Trav’s cancer.
They stopped in Biloxi for some fun and arrived in Houston Thursday night.
They were at MD Anderson at 9:45 yesterday morning. Their appointment was scheduled for 10:00. Timeliness is always important to Travis…especially when he is looking to fight. But upon arrival they learned Travis’ CT Scan was moved from Tuesday morning to yesterday morning at 6:40 am.
However, someone forgot to let the patient know about the schedule change.
While the morning started out rocky, it didn’t deter them from their purpose. Their purpose to fight.
And so, they had to squeeze in a CT scan. It sounds easy but it is actually pretty complex. Travis has to drink a contrast at different periods of the day and could not eat within 3 hours of the CT scan. Only…they didn’t know when the CT scan was going to be. Which simply meant he couldn’t eat until after the CT scan. And the CT scan ended up being at 5:45 PM.
Nothing like kicking a guy when he is down.
Travis also had an echocardiogram, and his blood was drawn, but the results are not yet known. They will get their results on Wednesday when they meet with Dr. Shroff. The blood work will tell them where the CA19-9 is after one month of no treatment and the CT Scan will show any tumor growth or spreading.
It doesn’t matter. Travis has resigned to the fact that the news could be bad. It is what it is and now he is just ready for his new course of treatment to fight this.
The clinical trial is officially being conducted by Johns Hopkins and MD Anderson is sponsoring a “branch” of the trial. Yesterday, Carrie and Travis got to meet with Dr. Zinner who is heading up the branch at MD Anderson. While he cannot guarantee Travis’ participation in the trial (Johns Hopkins gets the final say) he sees no reason Travis would not be admitted.
The purpose of the trial is to test the maximum dosage tolerated of two combined drugs: Pazopanib and a MEK inhibitor which has not yet been named. It is a directed therapy, meaning it will not kill everything in its path but, rather, will only attack what it should. The Pazopanib should cut off the blood supply to the tumors. The MEK inhibitor should do just what it describes. It will inhibit MEK from getting in the tumors. MEK is a protein that cancer cells gobble up and thrive on.
Travis will have to take two pills every day. Assuming he is approved to enter the trial he will start the pills on Wednesday. After 15 days on the trial he will have blood drawn. After 28 days he will return to MD Anderson for a day to meet with the trial doctor and, again, have blood drawn. At that point, they will know the effect of these drugs on his tumors. They will know how well these drugs fight. After 56 days he will return for two days to get a CT scan, blood work, and again meet with the trial doctor. And so will be the pattern for as long as these drugs continue to fight.
The potential side effects are numerous. All of his hair could turn white. He will likely develop a painful rash. Fatigue. Nausea. Swollen feet. Food will no longer taste good.
But while the potential side effects…suck. They are simply a price. A price to pay in the fight.
Travis will have an opthalmology appointment on Monday afternoon and has the day “off” from MD Anderson on Tuesday.
Wednesday they will meet with Dr. Shroff and find out if Johns Hopkins has approved his entry in the trial. They will also get the results of the blood work and CT scan. And, assuming he is in the trial, he will take his first dose of the medications.
Wednesday is an important day.
Wednesday is a day to fight.