Clinical Trial, Cycle 2

Remember my last blog post when I said I was finished with the snappy opening lines? Yeah, I’m sticking with that. Way easier. Plus I’m not getting paid to sit here and be creative. I’m not being paid for this at all, actually. I should look into monetizing my cancer blog, seems like an A+ idea. I mean, who wouldn’t pay money to advertise to the people who read my mindless rambling? Losers, that’s who. Besides, cancer has already taken away my dreams, hopes, job stability, free time, blood cells, sense of childlike delight, and hair (mostly) so the least I could do is make some money off of it. Regardless, I’m not here to talk about exploiting terminal illness for profit, so let’s get into it. As you can tell by the title, Gem/Tax was a bust, and not the good kind of bust if you catch my drift. So after 4 cycles of that nonsense Gem/Tax, I got some kitty cat scans that showed that while growth around my liver or spleen or something had stalled, the growth in my chest/heart/wherever else I have tumors that I don’t know about continued, so it was quite obvious that it was time to jump ship and head for something better. And hopefully, that something better is this clinical trial I’m now in!! I’ll be honest, don’t even know the name of this stuff I’m getting now, something like pembrolizamab or prombolosis or proctology or some nonsense. It’s a new-ish study, using two currently FDA approved drugs to accomplish some immunological outcome that involves my white blood cells attacking cancer cells. Some very new agey stuff, I’m basically a pioneer. Like Daniel Boone up in this bitch. I would say just google it to learn more, but I don’t even know the name of the trial drugs and I wouldn’t suggest googling “proctology” unless you’re into that kind of thing. I mean, ’tis the season, but still…Anywho, I started last Thursday after getting a biopsy Tuesday (not a ton of fun but new procedures are always interesting and I got to see the inside of my arm tumor which was sorta neat) and my next treatment is tomorrow. There’s a few pluses and minuses with this trial so let’s discuss:

1) Plus – it’s not chemo. People forget this but chemo is actually like super not good for you, much like Tide Pods. Since this is immunotherapy, it isn’t just poison in controlled doses, which takes me to plus number two….
2) Plus – fewer side effects. No more hallucinations or kidney failure, these drugs have a bunch of 10 ply side effects like swelling, rash, itching, and of course my forever personal favorite, the Hershey squirts.
3) Negative – it’s a clinical trial. That means it probably doesn’t work, which is a bummer and makes it a bit difficult to get excited about. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an endless fountain of positivity and optimism, but when only like 20% of people react positively to the therapy, it’s hard to get super jazzed up about it. I know I’m great at being in the 1% of people that have weird shit happen to them, but can’t say I’m super confident.
4) Negative – it’s still a clinical trial. This sucks for a separate reason. They need sooooooo much of my blood and I’ll be honest, it’s getting annoying. They need to test my blood at different time intervals to see how long the drugs stay in a patient’s blood stream, which is neat and all, but it also means that event though it only takes an hour and a half to infuse the drugs, I need to be there for 10 hours. Then come the next day to give blood. Then 2 days after that. It’s the worst. Vampires, man. Maybe I’ll start just hucking garlic at people and see if I don’t have to do blood draws anymore.

Hopefully I’m in this trial for the long haul, although feels like I’ve been saying that a lot recently and it hasn’t happened yet so let’s just wait and see. Besides the trial, I’m doing alright but having trouble staying as positive as I historically have been. It is a bit tougher when things aren’t working, but that’s not anything I can change directly besides striving to be as happy as possible. I guess I’ll just have to do my best with what I can and hope everything works out. I dunno, seems like it should get easier but it never does. Gotta just keep treading water and keep trying to find ways to smile and find joy in where I’m at. I’ll never get healthy if I’m not happy, but I’m heading in the right direction. I feel like that was weirdly profound. Adage city up in here. Dalai Lama out.

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