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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Vulnerability is a very good thing – especially when you have cancer

Vulnerability is a very good thing – especially when you have cancer

Sometimes you have to hit bottom to transform your life. It is a common theme in the 12-step recovery program, and it seems to have applied to me lately. The other night I was experiencing what could be called the dark night of the soul. A lot of scary and depressing things were happening at once: 1. My oncologist confirmed my scans showed progression. She is starting me on a new trial, which looks promising (will explain in next week’s post), but it was hitting me that I am again in uncharted territory. 2. I had just returned from a trip to see a friend who is suffering and dying. 3. To top it off, I was sick from and run down from all my traveling, suffering with a cold, nausea and a pulled shoulder muscle. I had one of those “I want my mommy...

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My crappy, un-crappy day

My crappy, un-crappy day

I am having a semi-crappy day. The un-crappy part is I got a great massage from my Cheryl, my oncology massage therapist. Thanks to Cancer Family Care, I have been getting these at half the price as long as I’m in treatment. The other un-crappy part of my day has been spending time with my wonderful, loving and fun daughter Chrissy. We just did normal activities – getting her yearly physical from her pediatrician, running errands and letting her drive for practice. But I know how precious each of these moments are in the precarious world we live in. Now for the crappy part. I share this because it needs to be shared. Because we all should allow ourselves to feel crappy once in a while. It’s OK not to be 100 percent positive. As I wrote about...

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My “Not to Do” List

My “Not to Do” List

Just returned from another scan to see how my cancer is behaving. I’ll let you know what we find out in next week’s post. Since I have a lot going on this week getting ready to leave for Nashville for the Survivorville conference for women with cancer, I am going to recycle an “oldie but goodie” post. For those of you attending, I am excited to be presenting my essay for the My Second Act performance on Saturday night, as well as presenting a breakout session for metastatic survivors called The Buck Stops Here: The Power of Being Your Own Advocate. If you’re attending, please stop by and say hi. I’d love to meet you! Here’s my post written back in 2013: I am learning to stand up for myself in several ways. I find that I...

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Confessions of a sugar-holic

Confessions of a sugar-holic

You hear about alcoholics “hitting their bottom.” I think I hit mine after being away three weekends in a row and indulging in an enormous amount (for me) of sugar. Cookies offered at meetings? I’m in! Dessert at dinner? Of course! Then we went to my in-laws to surprise them for their 80th birthdays (they were born a day apart). I noticed it after my two servings of cake and ice cream. We were taking a walk and I actually felt dizzy. I could just feel that sugar zooming through my bloodstream like a drug. The day after I got back, I watched the documentary Are You Fed Up? on Netflix, which explores the food and beverage industry’s sugar-laden role in childhood obesity. It inspired me to eliminate sugar from my diet. Luckily my daughter has...

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