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Keytruda, So Far

derMaus's picture
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

I had my third Keytruda infusion last week and the doctor (main oncologist) confirmed what we already knew: the tumor has indeed shrunk. He didn't even do an exam, just said "Last time you were in here you kept shifting in your seat because you couldn't get comfortable. Today, your eyes are clear and you're sitting comfortably. This tells me that the treatment is working". I think he was a little miffed, though, when I attributed the shrinkage to radiation alone; he indicated that the Keytruda is the starring player here, with a supporting role from radiation. Silly me. I also asked exactly what kind of cancer this was, since the biopsy said "suspect intestinal". He shrugged and indicated that cancer cells can arise from a specific place, or they can be wayward stem cells that lodged in the wrong place. He said that that's actually very common and, in my case, doesn't really make difference since (1) it received radiation, and (2) Keytruda is having a good effect. He felt so positively about the progress that he said I may be able to avoid surgery. I was happy to hear that since I'm less sanguine about surgery than I once was.

The fact remains, however, that I can easily feel the tumor when I prod my pelvis, and while it's shrunk it's in no way gone. It's about 8 cm or so, as best I can estimate - in other words, back to where I started before it blew up. I'm still limping when I walk and can't go very far - maybe 50 yards, at most - without resting. So I wonder if I'm still stage IV, or did I revert to III when the mets were gone? The new tumor is a different cancer, localized at it's point of origin. Regardless, I'm just happy for any progress, and the prospect of skipping another surgery. Crossing my fingers and praying, and wishing Lou Ann was still with us (I always think of her as the Keytruda queen).

Posts: 316
Joined: May 2012

Thank you for sharing your progress report, Bobbi.  It's especially pleasant to see that you and your doctor are frankly conversing.  You are in uncharted territory so I have no useful response, just pleased to see that you are more comfortable and accepting the good news.  While I agree it would be meaningful to you to know the identity of the 8 cm beast, I think I would focus on the fact that it has shrunk and may well continue to shrink.  I would think that even if surgery is recommended down the road it is better to work on a smaller tumor.  But I also understand a desire to have it out, whether by immunotherapy or surgery.  So I guess the bottom line is that you soldier on, enjoying the pain relief and ability to move around freely and accept the need to rest when you must.  You are lucky, I think, that the medicos probably find you an interesting patient and, to me, that translates to alertness and attention to your condition, complaints, progress, etc.  The fact that you actually are improving, I think, is of great value to science and to YOU, of course.  Best wishes for your continued good fortune.  Oldbeauty

NoTimeForCancer's picture
Posts: 2905
Joined: Mar 2013

B, so glad to hear the pain is less and appreciate the update.  When we see what Keytrude did to help Lou Ann - why shouldn't we BELIEVE that it can help you more?  Keep pushing those docs!

Donna Faye's picture
Donna Faye
Posts: 430
Joined: Jan 2017

with OB and NTFC - so glad you are better - and we all know that "better" has different meanings for each of us. I follow you closely as we have sort of been on the same path and I am wondering about options as time goes on. Your attitude is always practical and in control...keep us informed as things go along. Hoping for continued shrinkage.

Posts: 572
Joined: Oct 2009

Bobbi, I am so happy to hear that your treatments have “shifted the curve“ back towards shrinking the tumor. Your physician has thought a lot about you as evidenced by the observation about your ability to sit comfortably. I am keeping you in my prayers! ((Hug))


Posts: 274
Joined: Oct 2017

I'm so glad to hear you are feeling better, and that keytruda is working. 

Abbycat2's picture
Posts: 644
Joined: Feb 2014

Hearing that word- shrinking- is so positive. Let’s see if the tumor continues to shrink which I suspect will happen. B, I am glad to hear that you are feeling better. Thanks for keeping us in the loop and let us know how you are doing up ahead.



Posts: 98
Joined: Dec 2017

So glad to hear that the tumor is shrinking. I am always thinking of you and your journey. I agree with Donna Faye on how you handle things. You are a great role model for all of us.

Armywife's picture
Posts: 452
Joined: Feb 2018

This is great news.  So thankful to hear that the radiation/Keytruda combo is a winner.   I always appreciate your updates because they are so thorough and thoughtful - and I'll be eligible for Keytruda at recurrence, so I especially love hearing this news, for your sake and for my future.  Happy for you!

Posts: 1574
Joined: Jun 2012

This is so encouraging-I'm looking forward to more updates in the same vein. If my knees weren't so creaky, I'd be doing a happy dance.  You are our Jimmy Carter, only younger and prettier. 

cmb's picture
Posts: 730
Joined: Jan 2018

I'm also keeping my fingers crossed that your good news continues while on Keytruda.

Jairoldi's picture
Posts: 221
Joined: May 2017

What a relief to know you are experiencing some relief and that your medical regimens are showing promising results. I also appreciate your candor and humor.

All my best wishes,


derMaus's picture
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

Thank you my friends for the words of support and encouragement. You don't know what it means to me. Best always, B

Posts: 263
Joined: Aug 2016

So glad to know something's working to shrink the tumor and that the cancer is localized and hasn't metastasized. When it shrinks enough, maybe a minor surgery can be done to remove the rest of it! Thank you for your update, Bobbi. Will continue to pray for you!


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