My two oncologists couldn’t agree on what to combine with chemo (Tagrisso vs. immunotherapy + Avastin). Trying to prepare myself in advance, I started fattening up a little and bought some Ensure-type drinks to keep the weight on during chemo. However, before meeting with the “tiebreaker” oncologist, I did my own search for clinical trials, and then went to my go-to crowdsourcing resource, a Facebook group called EGFR Resisters. I keep saying that you have to be your own advocate if you want to stay alive.
Armed to the teeth, Genevieve and I met with oncologist #3. She preferred her own band-new clinical trial rather than either of the chemo options, told me that one of my clinical trials had just filled up, and wouldn’t offer an opinion on the other. We had an appointment right after that with Dr. Patel, who was excited about the trial I found through EGFR Resisters. That option, BLU-945, is supposed to be the next-generation EGFR targeted therapy that covers the most common ways lung cancer mutates around treatment. If it works, I’ll be feeling BLU, just like the Blue Men—though maybe a tad less athletic.
I have already made the cut, so I don’t need to wait for another biopsy to see if I qualify. Our first appointment is this coming Friday. Based on my last clinical trial, it could take a couple more weeks to jump through the hoops before starting. This is another pill, just like Tagrisso, and should have minimal side effects. We’ll see.
The trial is at Cedars Sinai in L.A, which is 800+ miles away. It could be worse. In fact, it almost was. When I first looked up the trial, the closest location was in Houston. That’s a thousand miles and two time zones further away, not to mention having triple the COVID rate – a huge consideration, given my health. By the time we talked to Dr. Patel, L.A. had magically been added to the list!
This has a familiar feel to it. I got into the Tagrisso clinical trial three days before it closed, and it has worked for me for seven years! Timing is everything!
We welcome your thoughts and prayers, or just wish us luck!
PS for anyone wanting to find clinical trials: Try https://clinicaltrials.gov/, or use a clinical trial finder, which searches clinicaltrials.gov based on your criteria. This one is through LUNGevity, and also has the option of getting help from a human being: https://app.emergingmed.com/lcctal/home/
This post originally appeared on Dann’s Cancer Chronicles on September 5, 2021. It is republished with permission.