New Year, More Challenges
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I feel guilty...
I have been lurking Spark, for the most part, for about a month now. I am sure that the team I co-lead has been feeling neglected. Then again, they have all been through cancer and probably understand...
I started a new chemo and it has really affected my blood counts -- both white blood cells and red blood cells. It got to the point that I had to have a blood transfusion. I was scared to death of having the transfusion, but am glad I did it. My appetite and energy level started to go up right away.
I went for the second opinion and the doctor told me that I did not qualify for his study and that he agreed with the course of treatment my current oncologist was using. My oncologist sent me for an MRI of my brain to see if I would qualify for another clinical trial. For this trial, I needed to have evidence of the cancer spreading to my brain. My MRI was clear, which is good for my brain, but it means that I don't qualify for that clinical trial either. So, my doctor is looking for another study for which I may qualify. She doesn't give up. I'm not giving up!
I guess I should back up and explain some things... I have what is called "triple negative" breast cancer. That means that the cancer is not "fed" by estrogen, progesteron, or something called HER-2 receptors. It also means that my cancer responds to chemo at first and then changes its mind. That is why we have had to postpone my surgery twice. My latest PET/CT scan shows that it is taking up residence in my liver. SCARY STUFF! The most promising medication for me is called a PARP-inhibitor. Unfortunately, the PARP-inhibitors are in clinical trials AND the FDA has put an end to what is called "compassionate use." This means that, unless I get into a clinical trial, I cannot get the medication.
I'm still not giving up!
My doctor suggested that I stop working. NO WAY! Working keeps me sane -- and I am still able to do some good for my programs. What would I do with my time if I were to stop working -- sit around and feel sorry for myself? No. Not gonna do it. I am not giving up.
My goal for right now is to maintain my weight. I lost a lot of weight over the past few months and it made my doctors worry about me. So, although my little weight tracker has a weight loss goal, I am going to try to make it stay where it is for right now. I'm hoping that, as the fatigue subsides, I can get back to exercising and build up my endurance again. Those are my fitness goals for the beginning of 2010. Hopefully, I'll be able to stick to them.