Thursday, November 6, 2014

New Treatment Plan

Dave, at lunch today, between appointments.
Today, we were at the medical center (CPMC) all day, with a short break for art (saw a couple of photo shows downtown.) Dave's condition has deteriorated rapidly in the last few weeks and a few days ago his primary care doc seemed alarmed at the change in Dave's condition, so he got things in motion. Today we saw the pulmonologist and the oncologist. They have all been in communication with each other, which is a relief, and they are all in the same building, which is the same place where Dave has gone for cancer treatments.

The upshot is, it's only been two years since the last round of chemo, so another round at this time would have a higher risk than benefit. Just a few years ago, there would be no other options. But a new treatment was just approved 8 months ago: Ibrutinib.  It should reduce the cancer cells and their adverse effects, but not right away. Just like the older chemo, it's likely to make him feel worse before he feels better. And it's not without side effects. But it's still better than the alternatives. It's a pill, and he will need to take it for the rest of his life. He's thrilled that he doesn't have to deal with IV infusions again.

The next hurdle is getting our insurance to approve the treatment, and then affording the co-pay. And then obtaining the drug (apparently it has to be shipped here from Texas?) Luckily, Dave's oncologist has a staff person assigned to help us through these issues. We met with her this afternoon and she was very optimistic and reassuring. It might be a week or so before it's all figured out and he actually starts the drug.

1 comment:

Ruth Warren said...

Sounds like the road to good health! Stay on it!