I've got a Onc appointment on Monday, but I'm trying to wrap my head around all of this. Please bear with me. I know I'm incredibly blessed, but I'm in the midst of transition and my feet haven't hit solid ground yet. So at this point in time, I am only grieving what seems to have been taken away, rather than rejoicing in the opportunities that are before me.
A bit of background: I am an American who has lived and worked in Asia just about half my life. I have invested heavily (in time and talent, some treasure, too) to be able to live and work comfortably there. Friends, family and fulfilling work is there. I know nothing else.
In 2008, I found out I had melanoma. I went through the treatments (3 WLEs, 3 SNBs, CLDN, HDINF, GM-CSF) and was declared NED. I was going through school at the time (more investing!), and so living and working not in Asia, made sense and was challenging.
I graduated (last year!) and returned to Asia thinking I'd be reunited with my life in Asia again. I knew it would be different. I am different, but there were opportunities for me to do what I do best there, and I was grateful for that start.
Then at the end of last year, I found 3 intransit mets around one of my SNB scars. I came back "home" to So Cal, checked in with my awesome Rock Star Dr. and after having clear scans, had 4 doses of Ipi. Now I'm 20 weeks into the Ipi treatment, and have 4 new intransit mets pop up. I'll know more on Monday, but it doesn't sound like I'm an Ipi responder.
So Plan B is to try and get Merick's anti-PD1 drug in their MK-4375 Expanded Access Program. I don't know that MK-4375 will work, but it seems to be the next best thing.
So my questions and wonderings are: Do I have a career ending injury? It seems to me that whatever happens next- respond or not to MK-4375, I'm going to be back in the US for a long time (2+years?). Yes? I've been living fairly temporary while I've been doing Ipi, but maybe it's time to say good by to my life in Asia, and invest in one here in the US.
Thank you for listening to me whine. I'm trying to move through this, and make reasonable decisions, but nothing seems reasonable.
Stage 3c: WLE, SNB, LND, HD-INF, GM-CSF, IPI, PEMBRO.