Liver biopsy done, now we wait

Liver biopsy done, now we wait

On Tuesday, we left before dawn to go to Indianapolis for my liver biopsy. The tissue will be used for genomic sequencing/analyzing for the MATCH trial (click on this link for more information). My oncologist told me it will take 10 days for results to come in. I was reassured by a coincidental connection to the trial. One of my dearest and long-term friends, Jami Elliott, actually works for the company that manufacturers the diagnostic equipment used for the genomic sequencing. He knows a lot about the process and assured me that the process is state of the art and my tissue will be thoroughly and accurately analyzed. The actual biopsy was not too bad. I was anticipating a long recovery, but three days later, I am feeling better and less sore. I did have to lay...

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s super new treatment!

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s super new treatment!

You remember those Peanuts cartoons when adults spoke and it just sounded like “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah”? Yes, that’s how I get when I hear a bunch of medical/scientific terms thrown around. I have learned a lot in my 13 years as a breast cancer survivor (seven-plus years as metastatic), but sometimes I feel like I just don’t have the brain power to wrap my head around exactly how treatments work. Hence, as promised, I am going to give you a little,  albeit not very scientific, overview of my new clinical trial. Last week (Thursday), Mike and I traveled two hours to Indianapolis to get my first infusion of  MGAH22, affectionately  known as Fc-optimized Chimeric Anti-HER2 Monoclonal Antibody. Try saying that three times fast! For those...

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Roller coaster report: My new treatment

Roller coaster report: My new treatment

I know it’s a trite analogy, but having stage IV cancer is really like being on a roller coaster. I used to brace myself for every drop, but lately I’ve learned to just hang on tight and go along for the ride. I can’t get off after the ride has started, so I have no choice than to trust I’ll get through it. Note: this analogy may not work for those of you who love roller coasters! As those of you who follow me know, I was so excited my treatment (Ibrance and Femara) was FDA-approved, ending my monthly back and forth trips to Chicago for the trial. I was feeling great and looking forward to a hopefully long run on the duo. Then came my scan, a couple of weeks ago. Last week I finally got a hold of my consulting oncologist at Indiana...

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The other shoe: the waste of worry

The other shoe: the waste of worry

I was talking to my hubby Mike today when the topic of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” came up. I looked up the phrase and learned it originated in the early 1900s about hearing someone drop a shoe at the door and waiting to hear the other shoe drop. Simple as that. Somehow we have turned it into “waiting for something bad to happen.” I realize how much of my life has been wasted waiting for the other shoe to drop. “Things are going well now, but I’m waiting for something bad to happen to ruin it.” I never trusted my life could stay great and I couldn’t appreciate it when it did because I was waiting for it to be taken away from me. I think a lot of people, unfortunately live that way. We can’t enjoy the...

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Putting on my advocate hat for the Komen VIP Blogger Summit

Putting on my advocate hat for the Komen VIP Blogger Summit

My mission has always been to instill hope and information to others battling advanced cancer of all types. It has been more of a personal message, which has evolved over time. Take care of yourself, be your own advocate, don’t give up hope. Yet I cannot dismiss the dark side of the issue as I connect with more and more people living with this disease. There are too many people dying, many of them young parents and single women who were robbed of the chance of parenthood — and that is unacceptable. More than 40,000 women and men continue to die from stage IV breast cancer each year and 20-30 percent of all cancers will become stage IV at some time. Yet, according to a thorough landscape analysis by the Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Alliance (of which...

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Happy birthdays: Advances in metastatic research providing more?

Happy birthdays: Advances in metastatic research providing more?

  Birthdays have always been strange for me. I realize what an attention ham I am! Despite the hundreds of Facebook birthday wishes (thank you all, by the way!), an upcoming girls night out, and a card and Amazon gift certificate from my husband, the day felt a little empty. My husband was tired from work when we went out for dinner and my daughter couldn’t come because of her first day of work for her first job. It was mostly an ordinary day. I know, I know … what do I want? A parade? Maybe my childish desire for more of a fuss stems from seeing another birthday as a major deal. It’s nothing short of a miracle. You see, if you look at statistics, I shouldn’t be celebrating another birthday. According to the American Cancer Society,...

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