Aug 232018

I had to spend four days in the hospital, but I finally got some Samsca to help with my sodium. I ended up with 48 doses (15 mg each). I was hoping for 60, but am happy with what I got.

While I was still in the hospital, I asked my oncologist if he knew of any clinical trials for small cell lung cancer because I really didn’t want to continue with chemo. He told me he had a new immunotherapy drug for me to try and we’d talk about it the next time I came to his office.

The new drug is called Tecentriq, and I’ve had two doses so far. The main side effect is fatigue, but it also makes me a little loopy for a day or so after I take it. On the plus side, the drug company will pay for it as long as I’m on it, which is a huge relief. I asked my oncologist if this was an old drug or something new. He said the Opdivo came out first, followed by the Tecentriq, and then the Keytruda. So it hasn’t been out for more than a few years.

The Opdivo and the Keytruda are basically the same drug. They’re both checkpoint inhibitors. Tecentriq is a monoclomal antibody. For those who are interested, here’s an explanation of how both types of drugs work. It’s all Greek to me.

I asked the oncologist what he thought of me switching from the chemo to the Tecentriq in terms of efficacy. His response was that we’re again in uncharted territory. But we managed to get about a year and a half out of the Keytruda. And his hope is that we can get at least another year from this drug, at which time he believes there will be new drugs available. Sounds like a plan to me.

My treatments are every three weeks. The next one is on September 12. After the October 3 treatment, we’ll do another scan. The sodium is actually a better indicator of whether or not the treatment is working, but it’ll still be good to know whether or not my tumor is growing and if the cancer has spread.

In the meantime, my sodium continues to drop despite the Samsca, so I’m going to have to start taking more. If the Tecentriq doesn’t start doing it’s job quickly, I see a lot more hospital days in my future in an attempt to get more pills.

That’s all for now. Thanks for sharing my journey with me.


 Posted by at 9:13 pm

  5 Responses to “A New Treatment Option”

  1. I keeping my fingers crossed that you get more then 1 year out of this new treatment. Sorry about the sodium doing the wacky stuff on you again. Try to enjoy your vacation and have some fun for a change. In other words no doctors no treatments just some fresh air and leisure time.

  2. Praying for you and following your story! My aunt was just diagnosed with extensive stage SCLC at the end of May so looking for an help and hope possible. I hope this new drug is effective!!

  3. I am happy for you to have another drug to try. I hope it does it’s magic in terms of shrinking the tumor. Keeping you in my prayers!

  4. Hope and pray this new drug works. You are always in my prayers.

    . Love, Aunt Betty

  5. You are an amazing person, Julie. Thanks for documenting your journey. You experiences are helping others. I’m so happy you have another drug to try and that you are living life. ❤️

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