Friday, 12 June 2015


"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us," Joseph Campbell

Well... After 16 months on first line therapy it has become time to part ways. Ugh...I really liked the treatment I have been on for over a year, but we all know that all good things must come to an end. In these past 16 months we had the opportunity to drive down the California coast, go to Las Vegas twice, had an amazing opportunity to go to Toronto thanks to Rethink Breast Cancer and meet some amazing young women, and got to go to Oahu and Maui. Now when I look at it like this then I can say I have lived an AMAZING year thanks to some tolerable and non toxic drugs. For this I am grateful. I have to accept that we were losing ground with the current drugs, therefore on to the next treatment.

Long story short, I had a feeling the current treatment was no longer working as my tumour markers had been steadily creeping up. I know this is not always indicative of cancer progression, but it still made me wonder. The cancer in my sternum and hip has become "active " again which basically means it has outsmarted my current treatment. I wish I had a stupid cancer that just couldn't figure this shit out, ugh. I do not have cancer in my lungs or liver, or even any other bones, so I was grateful for that. You see, I have to find something good in all this because I know it could be so much worse. However, the one area that worries me, and I hate having spots to, is my brain:(. Now I have a new, small, met to my right parietal lobe of my brain. Ok, the "good news" to this is that there is only ONE spot, therefore I'm pretty sure we can just repeat the stereotactic radiosurgery I had last year which I tolerated really well, and seemed like a successful, and easy treatment. However, I need to switch all my treatments. This is the joy (totally shitty, crappy, and overwhelming component) of living with metastatic breast cancer. Cancer changes/mutates and you have to move on to a new treatment. As you move on things become more and more toxic, hence why we all want treatments to work as long as humanly possible!!

So here is the new plan: I will once again meet with my neuro rad onc and discuss where we go from here for my brain....I am leaning towards SRS so that's what I'll do. Now that we know that my brain is kind of my "misbehaving" body part we will need to try and treat it a bit more. Our brains are truly fascinating, especially our blood brain barrier, but this blood brain barrier is starting to really, really, really piss me off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Herceptin does NOT cross the blood brain barrier, therefore we are going to try Tykerb which is an oral, similar type of sister drug to Herceptin which has shown some promise in crossing over the BBB. Now, since my bony mets are active again I will also be starting on Xeloda, an oral chemotherapy...ugh:(. I will NOT lose my hair on this but it does have side effects. Side effects I really hope I don't experience. This includes, but not limited to, shitting your pants!!!  Ok, that's not how they explain it, but that's how I define it. After the huge shebackles from over a month ago where I was puking and having diarrhea now I get to go on a drug that could make my life totally "shitty," both literally and figuratively!!!! Seriously, that sucks!!!! I'm hoping I don't fall into the "shitty" component side effect. Now the next kind of crappy side effect is hand and foot syndrome where the palms of your hands and soles of your feet can become red, numb, swollen, and possibly blister...wonderful;). Oh, but it gets better as in I never ever thought I would purchase the following, especially since I'm not a farmer!! So my onc told me to purchase a cream to put on my hands and feet that I could purchase from the vet!!! Wait, what? Buy something to use on my hands and feet that we use on animals?? I needed this explained a little better. Well, let me educate everyone on what they use this lovely cream on. Apparently they use this cream, and I quote, on cows udders. Whaaaat!! Cow udder cream for my hands and feet...I wonder how lovely it must smell. Good grief I can now relate to a damn cow!! I mean as long as it works I will absolutely use it and embrace my new "bond" with cattle. I guess now I just need to find a vet to buy this crap from, lol.

That's basically my update for now. Yes, I had a little cry over this because I was hoping for other options as in Herceptin and Perjeta, but thanks to the way Perjeta has been approved I can't receive it without receiving a toxic chemo and I don't want that. I'm starting to realize the frustrations and difficulties related to accessing certain drugs and how they're approved. In fact, it's actually a major piss off!!

Yes, anytime you hear that your cancer is getting worse it isn't exactly a joyful moment, but I must see the positives to all this. One of them is that I get to wait a few weeks to start my new drugs because I am going away on vacay in a couple weeks with my bestie so we get to actually enjoy it, without worrying about my "shitty" side effects. The very fact that these antihormonal therapies lasted me well over a year is a blessing because many people don't even last a year, so I really shouldn't complain about that. Lastly, I may be one of the lucky ones who doesn't experience any side effects!! Never say never;). Plus, I get to experience purchasing cow udder cream...I mean I'm all for new experiences, so let's knock this stupid cancer down and move on. I have too many vacation plans to let this slow me down anytime soon!!!
 Last Herceptin, for now anyways. It wasn't the greatest day, but it also wasn't the worst. It's just time to start a new chapter.