We received the best possible news yesterday after completing my first round of treatments. The positive response we were looking for were (1) no additional tumors and (2) no increase in size for the 3 existing tumors … perhaps minor shrinkage.
The picture below (of course I mocked up a visual being the geek that I am) shows the effectiveness of this new (miracle) immunotherapy … the amount of shrinkage for each tumor far exceeded anything we could have hoped for. We have a long way to go with treatments stretching through 2020 but the fact that I am responding to these treatments is a major victory … should extend my runway from 2020 to 2021+ and beyond. This is God’s way of telling me that he has allot of work for me to do next year.
Quick Recap –
Starting off in 2018, a red spot smaller than a grain of rice turned dark, which then lead to removal and ultimately, a melanoma diagnosis. Radical surgery at Duke, along with lymph node removal, put me on a recover path … so I thought. 6 months later I found the first of 3 tumors in my neck which were effectively inoperable. The last (only) line of defense was this newfangled “immunotherapy” that was just out of clinical trials. These treatments took the handbrake off of my immune system so it could more readily attack foreign invaders like cancer (and unfortunately some of the good guys like my pancreas). 3 months later and against the Vegas odds, I am the lucky winner with a strong response to the treatments.
The Power of Prayer –
While I have a good poker face, I went through some dark valleys this year. I was hoping and praying for the best and at the same time, I was getting some things in order in case things moved in the wrong direction. When I was at my weakest, God inevitably reached out to me through the actions of others … people praying for me, sending an unexpected card, a text, taking me out for lunch, friends laughing at my cancer jokes. God does his best work when people are praying, and I cannot thank my friends, family and co-workers enough for lifting me up so God could show his awesome power.
What’s Next –
More of the same regarding treatments, but with a bit more spring in my tigger-tail knowing that I have God with me, special people around me, and peace within me.
More updates to follow … Peace!!
Ted, Robin and Logan