I believe, like many people, that things happen for a reason. Some of those things are not always clear, and we find ourselves asking ‘why is this happening to me?” But having faith in one’s purpose in life and setting your intentions and most importantly— believing in the knowledge that God and the universe will sort out all the details— is a very comforting thing.
And, every obstacle is an opportunity.
And now I’ve got a new opportunity, and I have a man with a plan. It’s not Wyatt, (although it could be, he’s that amazing) and it’s definitely not Donald Trump, because he’s got no plan and will be impeached before the end of this year. (Setting intentions!)
The man is Dr. Ezra Cohen, and he’s my new oncologist at UCSD. And somehow, he has me feeling pretty good after a day of setbacks.
The bad news we received yesterday is that the cancer is not only in its original location, but has spread to my lungs and diaphragm. Two weeks ago we found out I was having a local recurrence, the third in just two years, and had a PET/CT to look at what else was going on in my chest, as I’ve been coughing a lot lately. He broke the news yesterday afternoon, and I will admit I was a bit numb. But okay.
The plan, while I can’t divulge all of it (yet) will be starting with a targeted therapy called Inlyta that has been used successfully in renal cancer and has the same marker as my cancer, following a month of tumor sequencing and all kinds of genetic stuff that I’ll never really understand, let alone be able to explain. : ) I plan to start in the next 2-3 weeks and continue on until phase 2 is ready. (More to come on that, later)
When I said there’s a reason for everything, it has become clear that our move back to Laguna was a bit of synchronicity. Having faced so many issues with the last recurrence, I needed a good, closer-to-home cancer team to follow up with me monthly, instead of making the long haul trip to Boston every time I had an issue.
My lead surgeon in Boston prompted a meeting with the new head of Head and Neck Cancer Surgery at UCSD, Joseph Califano, and our meeting with him led us to Dr. Ezra Cohen, the new head of Oncology for Head and Neck Cancers. Let me just say I have landed with (what I believe to be) the most exciting researcher and clinician dealing with immunotherapy for these cancers in the country. Not only that, he was appointed Chair of the NCI Head and Neck Cancer Steering Committee, so it’s safe to say he is well revered. Even my wonderful oncologist in Boston said, “There’s no one better” which fueled my confidence even more.
This man has a plan and has exciting things in store for me. I can’t believe I just called cancer treatment ‘exciting’ but who knew…
I feel so grateful and so prepared to get rid of this cancer, once and for all. I envision my healthy, full-of-energy body, taking me on a ski trip next spring, even if Wyatt has to drink hot toddies in the lodge all day, which you know he won’t complain about. Fellow skiers, get ready to hit the slopes.
p.s. My matcha tea was just made much better thanks to Heather Snow. (Love you, H!) It feels so perfect, drinking my daily ritual in such a profound reminder cup. (Sorry if I offend, Grandma, or any other old friends who don’t see that this man is going to wreck our country and our planet…I still love you but am exercising my 1st amendment right.)