Updated: Feb 6, 2019
David is nearing the end of cycle 3 of his chemotherapy drugs, and so far he's doing well this cycle, except for generally "feeling lousy," which is to be expected. But compared to the last cycle, he hasn't had any new side effects, which is great.
This is probably because Dr. Brooks (our oncologist at Arizona Oncology) reduced the dose of one of the IV chemo drugs (cisplatin) by 50% with the hope of still fighting the cancer but reducing the risk of side effects. He also reduced the dosage of David's chemo pills (xeloda), which he takes for 14 days every cycle, from 8 pills per day to 7 pills per day.
Also encouraging is that the results of the recent CAT scan show we’re making good progress in beating back the cancer. One of the larger liver lesions has shrunk and some of the lymph nodes also have shrunk. In addition, the results of recent molecular tests show David would very likely benefit from a type of immunotherapy called pembrolizumab (PD-L1), but Dr. Brooks doesn’t want to use that yet. He wants to keep that "waiting in the wings” in case the regular chemo quits working and the cancer starts growing again. Apparently, cancer cells mutate and can become resistant to chemo, so it will be good to have something new as an option.