Time for another health update (with a bit of an advocacy update)!
I had another regularly scheduled CT scan, and like all the scans since I started chemo it showed that the cancer has either shrunk or remained stable. Good news! Amazing news, actually! Even while on a treatment break the cancer is held at bay. So very grateful! Seems like a miracle! My symptom management (palliative care) doctor thinks that perhaps my immune system now recognizes the cancer as something to attack. Really great news!
I haven’t heard a recent update, but it seems the clinical trial I’m hoping for probably won’t open up in Toronto until maybe December or next year. Ottawa probably won’t open it until the Spring. There are many hoops to jump through, and COVID has affected cancer research which affects so many people. The good news is that it does not seem so urgently needed by me right now. Of course urgency matters tremendously, as things can change very quickly. We never know how long we may be able to wait, and there are many people who need more treatment options urgently. Survivors matter!
More research means more survivors and better survivorship! I continue to pursue a variety of advocacy efforts, including cancer research and fundraising for research. Today, among other things, I connected with the Canadian Cancer Society who want to share my story again, and people from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and Canadian Cancer Trials Group. I also messaged Prime Minister Trudeau about lung cancer.
But back to the health update … I’ve faced swallowing challenges since the summer, even though I’m very careful when eating or drinking. I lean forward and place my chin on my chest when I swallow. I’m eating a lot of soup and some other very soft foods, one very small mouthful at a time alternating with sips of water. I only eat very small, very healthy meals, and try to eat four or five times per day to get as much nutrition as I can manage.
I reached out to the Speech-Language Pathologist who helped me a couple of years ago when I was having swallowing issues previously and did the swallowing study. She is lovely and we had an online appointment last week where she gave me a lot of helpful tips and reassurance.
A referral to an Ear Nose Throat doctor was made, with an upper endoscopy scheduled for this afternoon. I’m looking forward to learning what the procedure will tell us, though a little nervous about having a camera stuck down my throat. There will be sedation, and I think my kids are looking forward to seeing if I’ll still be feeling the effects when I get home. Apparently some people don’t remember anything about the procedure, so I’m hopeful it won’t be as difficult as the similar procedures I’ve had before.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. What is your Cancer Centre doing to celebrate? #LCAM