The experimental drugs LBH589 and RAD001 did their jobs. As tough as it was to be on this aggressive clinical trial, it was worth every, every, everything. It was worth every ounce of pain, fatigue, aches, tears, emotional rampages, nausea, weight loss, dry mouth. It was worth every long, cramped plane ride, every shot, every blood draw, every piece of endless paperwork and every sleepless night. Now I can see as clear as day why my body has been so wrecked and tired. Now I know that it wasn't the lymphoma growing, it was the lymphoma retreating and my body working tirelessly to get everything back into harmony.
The drugs have reduced the lymphoma problem areas in my body by more than 50 percent and eliminated some hot spots altogether. The cancer presence is not completely gone, but my PET and CT scans revealed a very, very good response; it's virtually nonexistent. The trial team in Texas was extremely pleased about the affirming science and very happy for me. The response is so good that MD Anderson has taken me off the pills and has signed off to send me onto allogeneic stem cell transplant at Sloan Kettering.
I know I have a huge treatment journey ahead of me still – arguably the biggest leg yet – but for right now I am relieved and thrilled to the core. I am finally ready. I am one huge step closer to the ultimate goal of long-term remission.