week 12 - Condolences to France

Written by Dyanne Soraas

On this day of death, our condolances to the people of France and especially the family and friends of the 127 diseased and the many more wounded.
On this week of death, let us also mourn the father of our friend Nikolaos, who succomed to lung cancer on Tuesday. Let us also mourn the more than 600 people in France who this week will pass from the living to the dead because humanity has not yet solved the riddle of lung cancer.
Let humanity find the good strategies to combat terrorism and cancer. Let us redouble the effort and, more importantly, the ingenuity we devote to fight these evils. Let us today cheerish life and the prospects of a future where the world is rid of these scourges. Let us promise our children we will work towards this end with all our intelligence and strenght.
On this note, here is the update on week 12 in the war on cancer:
Dyanne’s cough has not gone away and she has been more tired than normal. It has lasted a bit more than a week now. It is not that bad, but annoying and a reason for concern. Our Barcelona doctor, the relentless Niki, asked us on Wednesday to do a CT to check if it could be pneumontitis, a potentially dangerous side effect of nivolumab, erlotinib and radiation (and Dyanne has been doing all three of these). As Oslo University Hospital (OUS) did not return our calls, we organized this at the private clinic Aleris on Thursday morning. When our OUS doctor finally called back yesterday (Friday), he sounded happy a CT was already done and asked us to send over the results. Niki just called us, this minute, with the conclusion: they suspect it might be pneumontitis. Erlotinib and nivolumab will be put on hold. We will do an X-ray now (off to Volvat) and probably every week to compare (less radiation than CT). And we will start corticosteroids.
In other news: two recent articles in Science indicate that gut bacteria may be important for achieving a response to modern immunotherapy drugs such as nivolumab and ipilimumab. We start taking pro-biotics and might also take the vaccine pneumovax-23 as there are some indications it may also be beneficial (thanks to Dr Raymond Chang in NYC for this suggestion). Someone also suggests a fecal transplant (if you don’t know what this is, don’t google it if you are eating) may be beneficial.
On Thursday we were interviewed by Lørdagsrevyen (the main Saturday evening news program on NRK, the “BBC” of Norway) who were making a story on lung cancer. The interview would be broadcast today unless a plane fell from the sky. Due to Paris attacks, it is now cancelled.
Thanks to Niki for everything. Thanks to my brother, Arne, for being our in-house Dr House. Thanks to Dr Richard Kast and Dr Raymond Chang in the US for good suggestions. And thanks to my exceptional and brave Dyanne who will be Miss (x-)Cancer Patient 2027.

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