What started and ended as a quiet week had an unexpected bit of news that left our minds spinning for a few days.
To start off the week, Amy’s brother Matt came to visit, which was an unexpected and nice surprise. He’s in the Air Force and stationed halfway around the world, so visits to the States are a big deal. It was great to be able to visit with him and have the girls and cousins get a chance to hang out. Plus, we took this rare opportunity of having the whole Jackson family in town and we did a little photo shoot!
It sounds like a new iPhone charging accessory or something, but no, that is the actual name of the medical device Amy had implanted on Tuesday. It was a fairly quick, out-patient surgery to install this port that allows Amy to get her chemo treatments. This gives the chemo a more direct path to where it needs to go so she won’t have to get a new IV every week. So now she just has this weird little raised bump under her skin and they can plug in and start treatment pretty easily! To be honest though, I really did think something called a Powerport would come with Bluetooth or something. I mean come one, it’s 2019.
The big news for the week, and the thing that sent us scrambling, was that Amy MIGHT. NOT. NEED CHEMO…
The news came mid-week that Amy is eligible for a brand new clinical trial that could potentially replace chemo. We were given this shocking news and were sent some literature. We immediately started digging in to the documentation, trying to learn as much as we could. The short of it is there is a new drug that works to target the genetic mutation that is causing the cancer and it then blocks the cancer’s ability to grow, rebuild, etc. This miracle drug also supposedly has reduced side effects. The researchers are extremely excited about this possibilities for this drug and are very eager to test it. The problem is, it’s only in phase II of clinical trials, meaning this is the first time they’re testing it’s efficacy on patients.
We spent many nights trying to figure out the pros and cons, weighing our options. After the ups and downs we finally met with the Oncologist on Friday to talk through everything. And while this new treatment sounds promising and has great potential, we decided it is just too new and unknown. The big kicker is that while this treatment might change what standard of care is for the future, it doesn’t change it for Amy. So trying this new drug would mean 24 additional weeks of trial treatment, FOLLOWED by surgery, chemo, then radiation. So if Amy has to go through all the standard treatments anyway, we felt it best to just do it now to get ahead of this thing.
Nothing has changed
So after ALL that craziness in the middle of the week. All the researching, Googling, calling people, praying over the choices…Amy is sticking with the original treatment plan. Chemo. Surgery. Radiation. Her first round of chemo starts Monday, August 5th. So blow up Amy’s phone that day, send texts, emails, funny Gifs. Let her know you’re thinking about her. After all the excitement, it felt like a relief to know that we have a plan. A solid plan. And we’re sticking with it. There shouldn’t be as many big/quick decisions for awhile now. Amy is going to go through chemo, and that is going to suck. But there is a cadence to it, a routine, and it’s something that has been done thousands of times before by so many other women.