June – September 2013
Initially the crizotinib worked beautifully. By July we found out that some tumours had shrunk by as much as 80%. We were optimistic that he might even attain NED status (No Evidence of Disease). We knew there was no cure (yet) but there were so many exciting new drugs being developed and if JD could just keep going till there was one…
Ironically, his breathing and comfort level kept slowly deteriorating. This was very confusing. The doctors were very optimistic yet JD kept going downhill, slowly but surely.
Soon his pericardial sac was in need of drainage again. Another stint in the CCU in August; another 2 plus liters removed. His oncologist, Dr. Leighl, pushed for a painful sclerosing procedure to permanently scar the pericardial tissue to prevent future fluid buildups. We researched the procedure and decided instead, to have a pericardial window operation performed when we came back from a 2 week (doctor-approved) vacation throughout the American Southwest and West Coast in September.