Friday, January 15, 2016

There has been a calm in the storm

Kids, I have a treatment plan. Trabectedin (Yondelis is its other name). It's the soft tissue tumor drug (specifically designed to work on myxoid liposarcoma - liposarcoma with tumors originating in the leg - but has shown some success with de-diff retroperitoneal liposarcoma as well) that was just approved by the FDA in October, 2015.

What I love about it: I'm getting a drug that was created for my cancer. I mean, I'm actually sort of giddy about that. I feel like a breast cancer patient, with a drug that was created for MY cancer! (Which sounds like maybe I'm not honoring the difficulty of a breast cancer diagnosis, or the treatment thereof. That is absolutely not my intent. I hate all of the kinds of cancer. Any diagnosis, all treatments are incredibly difficult. I mean, it's just a seriously crappy diagnosis to live with. And as if the disease itself isn't bad enough... the cure can just about kill a person.)

I'm just so grateful that there is finally ONE drug that is specific ONE form of liposarcoma, that is was approved last year, and is available to me now. This is one trial that I won't have to worry about getting accepted into, because it's already been approved. Such a blessing.

What I don't love about it: It's a 24 hour infusion. Which means that I'm either going to have to go back to the hospital for a sleepover to get my chemo OR they're going to have to strap a bag of chemo to me and I'll have to bring the poison into my own home/bed for an overnight. Both of these thoughts are horrifying to me, though I would err on the side of inpatient, for about 1,000 reasons, not the least of which is that my hospital anxiety is just a titch lighter than my bringing-home-a-bag-of-chemo-with-an-IV-in-my-arm-because-the-port-isn't-deemed-stable-enough-to-deliver-the-drug-without-around-the-clock-care anxiety.

Deep breath. (Let's all pray for an insurance approval for inpatient chemo, so I don't have to go through a normal person's entire week's worth of Ativan in one 24 hour period.)

I also don't love that it, well... has an approximate 10% effectiveness rating.

But listen, I read the study that Homsi gave me on the Gemcitabine+Dacarbazine, and it was 12%. So, it's not like I'm selling myself down the river with that 10% chance. ... And all I have to be is in the 10%. (With everything else that's weird and freaky about my case, it could well turn out that I'm not in the 90th percentile.) Fingers crossed.

I don't have a start date yet. Texas has to write sample orders and get them to Homsi, then the pharmacist has to order the drug (it's so new, and this cancer is so rare, that it's not in stock), and my insurance needs to pre-approve the meds (oh, right... and a hospital sleepover) before scheduling can call and let me know when they'll get me in. I'm hoping to get through the weekend, and start up again on Monday or Tuesday of next week. When I have that start date, and an answer as to inpatient v. outpatient, I'll for sure let you know.


shana said...

I'm so glad you know what you are doing. That's great. AND you don't have to do the red devil. Hooray!!!!

Jenni said...


Crowwyng said...

You are my one percent, I did it so far on 2%, which so 10% is more than enough, 24 hour infusion kinda sucks ( and I not like) but so excited that it is cancer specific. BCA sits at the popular table so gets more attention for sure, I remember when that was less true so I am excited for you getting a designer chemo, instead of off the rack. Love you and hugs. You for this.