Exelixis XL785! C'mon down! Your the next contestant on "Kill the Cancer"!
I apologize for the long gap of information since my last post. The thing is, I've had to make seemingly big decisions based on fairly limited information. And as many of you know, I'm not even good at committing to things I know are right! In the end, I stayed true to my general prioritization of the quality of my life, choosing a clinical trial that is unlikely to cause long term toxicity and can be halted at any time if it leads to strong negative impacts.
That said, it is not a placebo. This particular treatment is meant to block the paths in the DNA of cancer cells that tell them: "Time to reproduce!" The plan is to start taking the drug, then have surgery to remove the tumor. The tumor will be looked at to see: (a) is it actually a tumor and (b) did the drug find a way to effect the cells. After recovering from the surgery I'll likely go back on the drug until another tumor pops up, the trial has ended, or I've had enough. I vote for one of the two latter options. All this said, my real hope is that the tumor is just a blip. An evil cell that got left behind on my last surgery and decided to show its ugly face, never to be seen again after the upcoming surgery.
The full schedule has yet to be laid out, but I'm expecting things to accelerate over the next few weeks. I'm hoping to work some optics into the surgery with a trial done by Dr. Berger. (And after that I need to talk to him about "my" original idea for introducing a photocatalyst). Either way, all of this will be local at UCSF, so I'm definitely looking forward to visitors when I head under the knife!