Weeks 222-224: Is this the end?

Written by Lars Haakon Soraas

Weeks 222, 223 and 224 in the war on lung cancer have passed. Things are going downhill. The outlook is grim. Very grim. Here is an update:

  • As described in the last post Dyanne had two unwanted stays in hospital in November. First due to an epidural hematoma, then due to C difficile. She was eventually checked out of the hospital and came back home. The period since then has primarily been one of rest and recovery.
  • Sadly, cancer cells don’t observe public holidays, and they also don’t stop their activities just because their host is landed in hospital. And a CT scan done in preparation for some radiation treatment shows that there is significant progression in the liver.
  • Dyanne has had an annoying cough in the few past weeks. She has in the past couple of weeks also been very fatigued. And the fatigue has been getting worse. The fatigue can have several causes, including low hemoglobin, hospitalizations, treatments and, of course, rapidly growing cancer in the body.
  • Radiation treatment of the liver and lungs (to alleviate cough) is planned to start next week. Hopefully she will be in shape to get this treatment.
  • Based on this overall bad situation, Dyanne is not keen to do much more treatments. Her quality of life is currently not good. She is keen on ending the suffering.

In other news, it can be mentioned that we have done a new round of drug sensitivity testing. We used tumor tissue we have stored with StoreMyTumor and the testing was done by Nagourney Cancer Institute in California. Due to a limited amount of tumor tissue, only 4 drugs and drug combinations could be tested. The testing revealed cisplatin and irinotecan, two chemo drugs, may be effective against the cancer cells.

Finally, we also got results back from whole genome sequencing we have done with an Italian company called Dante Labs. They have sequenced the whole germline genome (i.e. the DNA that is in every cell of the body, not the DNA that is in the cancer cells) of Dyanne. At least one interesting finding came out of this: Dyanne has a homozygous mutation in a gene called XRCC5. This may explain why she is particularly sensitive to some chemo drugs and maybe also radiation.

So, the situation is bad. Very bad. Deadly bad. Please give love and support to our little family in the days and weeks to come.

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