We just wrapped a good meeting with Dr. McGaughey, and think we have a pretty clear way ahead.
Abi has opted to continue her regular meetings with Nila as long as it makes sense to do so - beginning today. What does that mean? She will continue with chemo until one of two things occurs:
The first is that the chemo begins losing ground against the disease. I think it's fair to say that the doctors expect that to happen at some point, but they have no way of knowing when that will be. So our girl will continue to get regular scans and routine labs, and we'll continue to keep a close eye on her.
Abi had a little back pain creep in the last couple of days, but it seems to take longer and longer for the pain to return after she's treated, and her labs have been trending in the right direction...white cell counts are normal, red blood counts are good, liver functions fine, etc...
We still have to get the results of yesterday's scans to know for certain, but feeling confident and hopeful that the drugs (a.k.a. "Hodor") continue to hold off the would-be attacker.
The second reason we might consider alternatives to chemo is if she isn't tolerating the treatment as well. We asked Dr. McGaughey what "isn't tolerating treatment" would look like. He used the very scientific term, "When she starts feeling crappy."
We're not there yet. She's been feeling great, and while we had a bit of a reaction to the last round, with low grade fevers and aches, we think that had more to do with a new drug she's receiving to help with her bone strength than her chemo cocktail.
What's next? I really don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but there appear to be a few options that we'll need to consider.
First, when we went to NYC, Dr. Saltz seems pretty enthusiastic about the progress that's being made in immune therapy. I mentioned this last week, so won't rehash it.
Second, while we didn't get the full results of yesterday's scan, we did get one piece of information. Abi does have certain "receptors" that may make her a good candidate for an experimental 'targeted radiation' treatment, that's also shown some promise. (Thanks for all the positive vibes and prayers yesterday!)
Finally, there are other, second-line chemo drugs that we'll consider.
Again - I don't want to get in front of our headlights on the next course of treatment, but did want to let everyone know that:
1 - Abi has decided, based on the advice of her doctors, to continue her current treatment regimen,
2 - There are viable options for follow-on treatment, and the doctors and we are looking at them now to be ready to act if/when the time comes, and
3 - Abi is feeling well!
Keep those good vibes and prayers coming!
P.S. Did I mention that her hair seems to trying to make an unexpected comeback?