So the news isn't good. The Circulating Tumor Cell only found one cell in the sample. One is about what you'd expect to find in a healthy person, if the test was going to be effective for your particular cancer. So no CTC test for me after this - and no help in finding a working treatment quickly enough to be truly useful.
I did qualify for the Phase 2 Drug Trial, because of the HUGE tumor in my pelvis/hip (and, painfully, the area where I sit on the left side, between the pelvis and the femur in the back). The tumor is so big that it interferes with both sides of the hip/pelvis AND fills up a large area of my inner pelvis. Probably a good thing that I have no uterus or ovaries to be crowded...
Unfortunately, they needed permission from my insurance to start me on the trial, because the insurance company might need to pay for scans. The trial pays for the chemo, but may defer the scanning costs to the insurance company, which is already paying for scans for the 'standard' chemo drugs. And my insurance is dragging its feet about getting back to us on that issue. In fact, they let us know that they have the right to think about it until the 9th of August - a week from now.
More unfortunately, the scans they took this past week show that there has been significant growth in the tumors in just the one extra week I took off of chemo in order to test for the drug trial. Dr. B didn't feel that I could afford to wait any longer.
So I'm on the chemo today that I SHOULD have been on last week (Gemzar). I gained tumor size, was heavily irradiated - and didn't gain a thing. Because I have now been on three chemo treatments, I no longer qualify for the trial. So that is that.
And I'd like to point out that now my insurance has to pay for the scans (average cost of $3,000-5,000 per scan, approximately 4 more scans per year than they'd normally spend anyway, assuming a miracle happened and the drug was effective for a year - an extra cost of at most $20,000 IF my insurance was paying full price for the scans, which they are not) AND the chemotherapy (approx. $29,000 per month of treatment). So thank you, Medica - you lost me an opportunity, cost me extra irradiation and cancer growth, and cost yourself a ton of extra money over the next couple months at least.
Smart. Very smart. The sort of practical Business Budgeting that Speaker of the House Boehner enjoined the unemployed and disabled to emulate in his address to the nation the other day, no doubt. So glad that our private insurances are protecting our health and our pocketbooks - after all, we have the best health care system in the world. Don't we? Don't we??