Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Results Are In

And it is the best possible outcome under the circumstances. "No evidence for active lung cancer." "No evidence of recurrent disease." Anywhere. Good blood work, physical exam normal. I was elated and thrilled, hugging and screaming (Neil tried to stop me but he couldn't). We celebrated with martinis and wine, a nice dinner, and coconut ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert.

But in between screaming in delight and the celebratory dinner I remained sober and attentive in my meeting with Dr. Herbst. I am not cured. Presently, there is no cure for lung cancer beyond surgery. The Tarceva will stop working. It is not a matter of if, but when. Could be three months, could be eight years. Unfortunately, not only is there no Tarceva II, there is no standard protocol to follow when Tarceva fails.

The plan going forward is to be scanned every 3 months, alternating between Houston and Atlanta. Dr. Herbst also suggested having a chest x-ray every six weeks. I have information on other physicians around the country working with lung cancer patients, active clinical trials and the latest research projects; I have met the people driving the Lung Cancer Alliance, Joan Gaeta Lung Cancer Foundation and the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. They will not let me down, not without a big, fat fight.

I still have a difficult road ahead of me but I am going to take some time to revel in this good fortune. I am going to finish my rehab program, continue my never-ending doctor visits, and soak up some (metaphorical) sun.

According to Scheinberg, Tarceva + prayer is a perfect cocktail. Thank you all for providing such a great mixer.

Elyse

39 comments:

Burton said...

Whoo Hoo!

I am leaving the office, headed by Birdwood on the way home, and am not leaving without my own celebratory hug.

XXXOOOBGM

Anonymous said...

Hooray! We'll raise a glass to Tarceva (and a spectacular patient). Thanks for the good news.
Chris & Sharon & Helen

Anonymous said...

Oh Wow!!

I am so happy. It is good to cry over good news for a change!!! With many people behind you and all the prayers in your behalf-YOU MADE IT GIRL.
I will still keep up the prayer vigil forever--for that is how long I plan to have you around.

Love always
Joyce Denys

Eric said...

Sweet!!!!!!

Burton said...

Well, since it turns out you wrote this good news from home back in Atlanta, a cyber hug will have to do.

XXXOOOBGM

Anonymous said...

SHE CAME....SHE SAW....SHE KICKED ASS.....THEN SHE LEFT...SUCCESS IN H-TOWN

Wendy said...

Whew, Elyse..Hugs to you and will see you soon. Keep on keeping on and enjoying life! Wendy

Amy A said...

What thrilling news!!! I am so happy for you and yours. Now you can continue your fight with a renewed strength. Let the sun shine in.
XXOO and all that jazz
Amy
PS Thanks for introducing me to your four legged family. Loved learning each pal's unique personality

Anonymous said...

Truly joyous news!
Love, Cynthia

Carole said...

Oh happy day!

Speak with you soon.

Love,

Carole

Susan said...

Hard to write through the tears of Joy. L'chiam, Here's to YOU!
Hugs, Susan & Mark and Sam

Walter said...

Fantastic news - enjoy the moment - miracles do happen

Walter Cohen

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful news. I love your spirit! I hope to hear many other people have stories like yours.

Anonymous said...

Thank G-d!!! The prayers will continue. Michelle S

David S. said...

I *KNEW* you looked good when I saw you a couple of weeks ago! Great to have the official confirmation -- the good thoughts from here will keep coming. We're very, very happy.

- D.

Ann said...

Such good news for such a deserving person! Nothing more to say other than THANK GOODNESS!!!
xoxoxoxo
Ann

Anonymous said...

Elyse,
We are all so thrilled about your great news. I rarely cry because I'm happy, but when I heard about your test results the happy tears were flowing! It was great to spend time with you and your mom. I checked out the pictures of your dogs and they are adorable. Next time you are in town I'll be sure that you meet my three furry babies. Love, Catherine

Bruce M. said...

great news for a great lady

Jill B said...

Wonderful news!!! Keep getting stronger and enjoy every day! I am hopeful that your doctor visits will be fewer and that you will live in remission for a very long time.

Love,
Jill

lmescon said...

You take my breath away. Prayer and Tarceva indeed! You are amazing and the prayers and positive thoughts are all yours. We love you so much and are ecstatic down here in Columbus!!!
XXXXX,
Lauren and Tim

Betty, Ralph and Beck said...

E, Needless to say, we're thrilled about your good news! We knew you were doing well, and now your tests have confirmed it. Looking forward to a walk on the Greenway with you and the dogs or some water aerobics at LTF... the dogs will have to sit that one out.
Love to you, John and B.

Steve Beagle said...

Ali - wins of course in not only a knockout but a standing O knockout. Yes there will be more fights because you have been forced to become a professional fighter however you are the best I have seen since the real Ali was actually doing his thing. We are all so happy for you.. Keep floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.. ok... what did you miss this week in absurdia land you ask? Here you go.. LH&P Steve and family
__________________________________

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Things aren’t going so well for New York Gov. David Paterson. He’s had a shake-up in his staff. He’s had a tough time, and he’s hoping that a change in his staff will bring about a happy ending to his time in office. Though a happy ending is pretty much what brought down the last guy . . .

President Obama gave his first State of the Union address. They say it was the best State of the Union address ever delivered by an African-American president.

He says we can overcome this crisis if we all work hard and make sacrifices — which means we are screwed.

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Anonymous said...

Elyse,

That is such incredibly good news! I know that the "cocktail" will continue on into the future to provide you the shield you need and deserve.

With all wishes and prayers,
Chuck

Bridgette said...

Wow!!!! I'm so happy and of course crying for joy! Amen for Tarceva and of course all the prayers have no doubt led you to the next steps in this journey towards saving your life. And by the way I want Mr. Brent to come visit sometime this year:) I'm still crossing my fingers that Eric gets a job with Genentech and I'll lobby for Tarceva II! I love you. Bridgette

Anonymous said...

You know I love good news. So happy for you. And put getting some real Sun on your list. Love, Ellen

sandplay said...

Great news!
Count me in for years of the mixer.
We're working on Prayer II while the med. researchers work on Tarceva II.
Love and hugs,
D7D

Anonymous said...

Dear Elyse,
All things are possible including snow in ATL. on March 1, 2009. The best news I've heard in a long time brought tears to my eyes. You have made a lot of people REALLY happy. Now it is time to SHOP!
Obama, the Steelers and Elyse. What more could anyone want? Keep getting stronger and stronger.
I can't wait to see you.
Love,
Roberto
XXXOOO

Anonymous said...

Way to go girl. Looking forward to seeing you around.

Joe Rosen

Anonymous said...

Fantastic!!

Moe

Anonymous said...

Dear Elyse- I just spent the last few hours (heard @ your condition in Dec. at OVS via Michelle Rich but didn't get your blog link till I saw Leah last Sat. at OVS)catching up on your blog. I wanted to let you know I'm so sorry you've had to face this challenge and at the same time elated that you got great news last week. Sorry to hear of your Dad's passing, I know how much you loved him. Glad to see you still have your sense of humor and the dachshunds!! All the best- Merrill merrill.shemaria@LPL.com

Laura said...

Dear Elyse,
WOW!!! I just heard the news!!! I'm so happy for you, your family and your numerous friends who have been waiting anxiously for this remarkable outcome! Not only will I HOPE for continued health but will PRAY for it as suggested by your doctor.
With love, hope and prayers,
Laura

Terri said...

Great news! We are both so happy for you and John and Brent. Keep on doing what you are doing.Love,

Terri & Barry

Lenore and Scott said...

And last but not least...HI ELYSE! I'm glad we caught up on the phone, but I promised I would chime in, so here I be. You've always been at the other end of the phone when I call and I expect that it to always be so. To say, "not if, but when" still leaves a big open door. Tarci (aka Tarceva) has proven a good friend and I don't think she will let you down any time soon. BTW, you couldn't feel my 'vibes' because of the Dachshund Force Field.

Anonymous said...

Yeah!!!!!I am so happy for you and for all your friends and family that care so much about you... like me.
Karen Wolf

lwborden said...

Wow, what wonderful news! Ray and I are hugging you from our respective spots. One thing I have learned over the last year with my mom is that miracles happen at M.D. Anderson.

Love.

Jeff Johnson said...

Elyse -

This is wonderful news! My continued thoughts and prayers will be with you.

Jeff Johnson

Forrest said...

What great news Elyse. I hope you start feeling like your old self soon. We all miss you at our meetings.

Anonymous said...

YEA!!!!!!!
Great going, Elyse! Such awesome news...Justin was so happy to get that phone call from Brent!
Keep up the good news - the weather is getting nice and its time to get outdoors!
Hugs,
Lorie

nancy said...

Great news!!
Tarceva+prayer+Elyse's amazing willpower= great results

You are in our thoughts and prayers. We hope to get a "crew" in May. Nancy