Well, you all knew that, but now it's official.
I was at MD Anderson earlier this week, for about 22 hours. It is damn hot there. Hot and humid. It was a routine visit. Among other things, I met with my endocrinologist, Ramona Dadu, shown above. She's actually much cuter than she looks in the photo. She wanted this photo as well as a photo of me with the girls. These photos are for her survivor collage. And she still wants me to come to the thyroid cancer conference in Denver this fall. Which I am happy to do but I want them to change their speaker list around so they have a people talking about ancillary things patients can do like meditate, manifest, diet, exercise (well, MD Anderson is does push all of this but they need some more firepower).
I'm doing my every six week immunotherapy infusions. Dr. Dadu said that they are really, really curious to see if the one-two punch of the radiation I had last month and regular immunotherapy infusions will jazz up my Warrior Goddess CAR T cells, which are the cells they extracted from me, re-engineered and put back in me last fall. Everyone, Dr. Srour, my immunotherapy doctor, and Dr. Dadu and unseen others were very excited about the initial response. They put a marker on the re-engineered cells to track them and they immediately went to the nodules we wanted to get rid of and destroyed some and shrank others. But then, the CAR T cells seemed to think that their job was done and disappeared.
But there was some very small growth, so small that Dr. Dadu is not concerned. The radiation I got last month should totally destroy those nodules , according to Dr. Ning, my nattily dressed radiologist, although it could take months. However, there is anecdotal evidence. according to Dr. Srour, that the radiation-immunotherapy combo will remind my CAR T cells that it's time to get back to work. And I, of course, am working it from my end by upping my meditations and including one designed to fire up your immune system!
Meanwhile, I'm at the family cottage at Spring Bank in Wisconsin, (photos from last night's dance coming shortly) and heading back to Park City tomorrow, July 3, so I can march with the KPCW crew in the Fourth of July Parade in Park City on Tuesday, July 4.
So happy Fourth to all of you!