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.