The last post was done quickly and somewhat efficiently to get the news of the scans out before you all headed home for the weekend – I know have a more captive audience when I can steal 10 minutes of your employer’s time than when competing against family time. I left out a lot of details and some things that took some time to digest and process; plus I had to figure out a way to tie in the March 1st part no matter what the outcome was. I wasn’t leaving out that slice of perspective. Below are more thoughts from the weekend, starting before the scans:
After a full afternoon of tests on Thursday, we unwound listening to some island music at a beach bar across from our hotel – they are having a tropical music fest there all weekend. Josie was in heaven, dragging my dad, Jen or I out to the sand dance floor for nearly every song. It was a nice “escape” from everything for a few hours; regardless of how Friday turned out, it was fun (sort of) dancing with an almost-three-year-old to Floridian singer/songwriter Sunny Jim White and Jersey boy John Frinzi. Usually when I see these guys perform it is one big party. While that was true for most of the crowd last night, the Sharpe family got a bunch of nice, low-key moments together – thanks Jim and John.
No matter how you slice it, the results felt disappointing – I’m sure that was evident in the tone of the post, as quite a few people have emailed encouragement. For one of the few times in the last six months, it got me down. I was so sure that I was going to ace this and we would see stabilization or tumor shrinkage across the board. So despite the scans being preliminary, and there being several good signs mixed in there, nothing about Friday felt like a success (except for getting the port out). This weekend was the first time I felt vulnerable. This weekend was the first time doubt entered my mind and stayed longer than I would let it.
Quite a few people have pointed out how the Yervoy has a reputation for having tumors grow in the initial weeks after treatment, and that TIL is a long-lasting treatment that works over an extended period of time. I am in the process of reading more about this online and seeing how reliable some first and second-hand accounts are. Hey, Ronan, Juliette, Jim, Jennifer, Nancy, and the rest of the Bristol-Myers Marketing Department, I know you are reading this – feel free to email me something a little more substantial and I will update everyone with a better scientific interpretation of what it means.