(Originally published July 8, 2022)
Update: Early last week, a combination of environmental allergies and bad air quality got me. 4 boxes of Kleenex, a nightly dose of Benadryl, a negative COVID test (just to make sure it was allergies and not something more serious), and 2 nights of rain later - I feel better.
Symptoms that I would have typically plowed through suddenly become that much more important. They also wear me out much quicker - especially since the nasal drip woke me up in the middle of the night most of the week. I'm grateful for the time and space for afternoon naps.
Other than that - no news. My next round of tests will be the week of the 28th. I am also in the process of scheduling CT scans to see how the cancer is doing. The 2 tests: a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis with contrast + a CT scan of the Thorax with dye. It's essentially a scan of the spleen and lymph nodes to confirm what the oncologist is (not) feeling. I'll be doing scans every 2-3 months for the foreseeable future.
The American Society of Clinical Oncologists recently released their annual Educational Book. This book provides a summary of currently actionable cancer research and helps to direct changes to the Standard of Care followed by doctors AND the insurance companies.
Within this year's book is an update for Mantle Cell Lymphoma treatment. For context as you read this, my version of Mantle Cell is p53 expressing, High KI-67, pleomorphic variant. My MIPI score was 5 (Intermediate Risk). The researchers are making significant progress to help people like me.
I am incredibly grateful that the Zanubrutinib is working right now. Reading this article has been fascinating, humbling, and a bit scary. It has also left me hopeful. Lymphoma care is rapidly evolving as more research attention and dollars are spent on refining prognostic indicators and individualized, risk-adapted treatments.
There is also greater focus on finding treatments for refractory (non-responsive to treatment) and relapsed (the cancer came back) lymphoma. Good news! My job is to keep myself healthy enough to take advantage as these treatments go online.
Thanks, Anne, for sending me the Education Book from ASCO. You are the greatest! CTOB!