Friday, November 28, 2008

WOW She's Good!

Well, perhaps my doctor is not so over the top and yes, she does deserve every bit of salary that she receives. And unfortunately that means that the biopsy did come back as positive for malignant cells. It's unbelievable and a little scary that nothing showed up on any of the scans yet there was in fact something there. So now we regroup and begin a new plan. I have been enrolled in a clinical study of a brand new drug called IMCA12 manufactured by the company Imclone Systems (this is the company that got Martha Stewart in trouble for insider trading). The drug is a monoclonal antibody which targets and blocks a specific type of growth factor receptor on cancer cells which can help cancer cells grow and survive anti hormonal therapies which is what I have been on since my first diagnosis six years ago. Evidently my body has grown resistant to the anti hormonal drugs and we are now going this route. The IMC-A12 can block receptors on tumour cells that may cause tumors to grow. Like I said before this is a brand new drug and has only been available since July and is not approved by the FDA. I have always said that I wanted to help other women who suffer from this dreaded disease and now I can. If this drug proves to be a breakthrough in the advancement of breast cancer then I will be forever grateful for being in the study.
So next week I have to be at the hospital all day doing screening tests which include an MRI of the brain, CT of the abdomen,bone scan, and blood work. I will then begin my treatment on Wednesday. The drug is an IV every two weeks at the cancer center and then I follow up with Dr. Fabian every four weeks. She measured the lymph node in my neck and will continue to measure it throughout treatment. If the node stays the same or shrinks then I will remain on the study. If it begins to grow I am kicked out of the club.
Hal and I pretty shocked to say the least that this node actually came back positive but with everything else, we just kinda go along and take it day by day. The good news is that we are on top of it and it is slow growing. The bad news is that we just can't get rid of it once and for all.
We had a low key Thanksgiving with our friends The Coffmans' and are now decorating the house for Christmas. I am really looking forward to enjoying this Advent season and reflecting on the important things....each other.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vacation Over

Well it was back to the dreaded cancer center last Wednesday to find out the results of my CAT scan. There is nothing worst than sitting in a waiting room with no clothes on for an hour. Not to mention on an uncomfortable table with paper sticking to your butt.
Anyhow, the scan came back okay. I say okay because I don't think that my doctor would ever say "everything is perfect, no worries"! There was a tiny tiny node that showed up and I was all but on my way until I mentioned that I was having pain in that some area. Then I was whisked off to get an MRI of my chest and neck and then the next day back in for another CT of my neck. The story is that I am still suffering from pain in my shoulder and it has now turned into nerve pain in my neck. When I wake up in the morning I have to pop a few Advil and workout (move around a bit) before the pain subsides. My doctor feels my left lymph node to be hard (which is where my nerve is). And even though the scans are clear, she still wants me to go in for a biopsy of that node this Thursday. I appreciate her thoroughness and trust her exclusivly but I feel the biopsy is a bit much. She deserves every bit of her paycheck if indeed there is something in that node! We will meet up again the day before Thanksgiving to find out what the next plan of action will be.Please continue to pray for me and my family.