First….the photo above is my “happy place”: Nyborg Beach in Denmark. We were there two years ago with friends and I had such a good time wading in the water on the beach. The water was surprisingly warm and I have many great memories from that trip.
Second….Herbie’s daughter, “Bella”, Starbuck Torbay Masquerade at Danter, won the Sweepstakes at the Southern Cal Specialty today! WooHoo!!!!
And finally, ‘cuz I’m a girl with her priorities in order…..I will be feeling fine this summer…..I’ll have no problems whelping Sophie’s litter, raising them and seeing them on their way, and then making a road trip to Nationals in Colorado at the end of September. WooHoo!!!!!!
That’s the good news. Unfortunately, the news from my onocologist today was not so good. The R-CVP treatments that I’ve been getting have had a limited effect on the tumor in my stomach. The lack of effect of the chemo, CVP, is not surprising. Chemo is most effective on fast growing cells but my cancer cells are very slow growing (ki67 = 5%). What’s surprising is the fact that my tumor is not responding to the “R”, Rituxan. My cancer cells are uniformly positive for CD20, the type of cells that Rituxan targets. Over the last 10 years, Rituxan has been the biggest breakthrough in cancer treatment……a remarkably successful treatment. For some reason, though, it’s not working in my case. Dr. Cui, my oncologist, said today that I am the only patient that she has had that has not responded to Rituxan. In fact, she’s had patients who were only 10 – 20% CD20+ respond to Rituxan. I’m 100% CD20+ and……..almost nothing!
So…..where do we go from here? I will go through with my final two R-CVP treatments: next Monday & Tuesday and the final treatments June 23 & 24. After that I’ll take a few months for my body to recover and then, in October……after Nationals……I’ll have surgery to remove the tumor. I’ll have a teeny-tiny tummy for a while but my stomach will slowly stretch and expand. I’m just hopin’ that I can talk them into a little complimentary tummy tuck and/or liposuction while they’re in there! …….and that should be it!
Not great news but…..I wanted to go in and surgically remove the tumor from the beginning…..so I’ll get my wish. For now, I’m feeling fine……I’ll have a good summer, a litter of puppies, and a trip to Nationals…. 🙂