Changing The Plan

Sometimes when we have a strong feeling, we think God is guiding or talking to us.  Yet, the feeling doesn’t  always go with His Will and if we believe the feeling should guide us, we may make a wrong choice.

I am talking about myself.  My feeling was ( or even “is”) voting for the vaccine trial, but I decided to choose a cancer targeted drug, Entrectinib trial the primary oncologist recommended, as the first, and the vaccine as the second.  The immune checkpoint inhibitor drug trial, I asked about at UCLA, will be the third.

After the NY Times published articles about the checkpoint inhibitor drugs, I saw people started talking about the drugs here and there.  I didn’t know, but former president Carter has shrunken his brain cancer with this inhibitor drug,  Keytruda.  This must be really promising, but the available trial of this kind for me is the phase 1 using different drugs, which made me afraid of the side effects such as autoimmune disorder or different cancer.  So this choice will be for the future.

On the other hand, the targeted drug trial is phase 2, and in phase 1 of this study, the response rate was 75%, which is better than 50% of the vaccine response rate.  In this trial, first I have to have the cancer tissue test, which takes two-three weeks. If there is no match between the DNA and the drug, this trial is not for me and I want to try the vaccine, but even just to have the tissue test, I was told to withdraw the consent forms from the vaccine trial.

This morning, I actually received the confirmation email of my eligibility for the 2nd screening for the vaccine.  It took about a month to get this confirmation, and I was about ready to have the 2nd screening such as CTs and blood tests.  If I am not qualified for the targeted drug and want to pursue the vaccine again, do I have to start all over again?  I am asking about it to NCI.

If I am eligible for the targeted drug, Entrectinib, I have to take the drug as long as it works, but with the vaccine I may be able to put the final period of the cancer battle just after four shots.  Such ideas stir up my feeling, yet I should not let the feeling control over the decision.  75% is better than 50%.  Phase 2 is better than phase 1.  My oncologist recommended it.  I don’t have to travel to Maryland.

Anyway, I am learning that it’s a long process to just get in a clinical trial.  I can be patient because I am on the chemo therapy.  Yet if I were off chemo or knowing cancer is growing, no way I can handle this.  Probably this is another Grace of God.

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