Friday, December 7, 2007

Treatment update

Hi all!

Monday I went to see Dr. Haley so get my scan results, and have my 4th round of adriamycin and cytoxan. I had one extremely difficult round of this drug combo and two fairly hard rounds. I had decided to switch my treatment to Mondays so I could have fluids all week without bumping into the weekend. But, when I saw Dr. Hayley, the first thing she did was go over my most recent scans I had taken last week.

The good news: no spots in organs...liver, lung, kidney, breast were all clear! This is great news!! It was my last scan that showed some uptake in my breast resulting in the lumpectomy and the scan before that that showed a few lymph nodes which sent me to the axillary dissection. So, this is no small feat. I think the drugs I was on held the tumors to the bone only.

But this leads to the not so good news...I do have fairly significant growth in my bone. I went from 2 spots on my vertebrae to 8. I have spots still growing on my hip and ribs. The spot on my clavicle is still there, but not growing. I have some spots on my back on the side (it has a big name??) So, this means I need to switch my drug regimen.

I consider this okay news. First, the bit about no growth in organ. Second, the adriamycin and cytoxan was very toxic to me. To everyone really, but Dr. Haley mentioned that I had it particularly bad. To me, finding out that this treatment was not my wonder-drug now is a blessing. It would have been more sad to have finished the 6 rounds only to find out the same information.

Now, as you remember, I went to Houston a few weeks ago for the metastatic breast conference. One of the things that was mentioned a dozen times, was the brand new drug, Ixempra. It was specifically for people who have failed on the drugs I have failed on and needed another drug...that's me! Dr. Haley did not mention it at first. She said there were several options, Doxil or Gemcitabine. But then I told her I had heard about Ixempra. She said that I would be a candidate for this drug. She said she had just gotten her hands on it last Friday and had only given it to one patient, one round. I would be number two!! The woman that was number one had already tried the Doxil and Gemcitabine. She is a little ahead of me, imagine that! She could not give it to me Monday as it was so new, insurance companies had to be taught that it was a real, FDA approved drug. So, I took it today.

I felt a little like a celebrity as the pharmacist came in to tell me that I was number two! Also, my chemo nurse said they all had to take a special seminar on how to give this particular drug and it special procedures. I felt quite special. The whole thing took just over 4 hours. Today's treatment coincided with an appointment with my surgeon, Dr.Euhus, whom I love. He was so pleased with my clinical exam and is having me come back in 3 months. It is always a joy to meet with him. He is the one who sent me the information concerning the Houston trip.

I really feel like God ordered my path to Houston. I would have never heard of Ixempra, as I have not since I have been back expect my own research. I hope you guys all hear a lot about it, as I am counting on it being MY wonder-drug. Unlike adriamycin and cytoxan, which I could only take 6 rounds on due to its toxicity to the heart and other organs, I can take Ixempra for as long as it is working. I am shooting for years, heck, how about indefinitely. A scan in 3 months will let us know.

Now, I feel great at day 1. It is listed for normal chemo side effects, but again, I am praying for none. Thanks for echoing my prayers.

My mom was able to take off work and go with me to both appointments today. We had great conversations, until I fell asleep for a few hours after they gave my a big dose of benadrly!! I was grateful for her precious company.

Take care,


Anonymous said...

The Lord still has great plans for you as HE continues to produce new medicines to help you through this part of your life. He is so good! I pray for continued patience and that you feel good through this stage of treatment. I pray for many good "moments" this weekend and into next week.

Amy said...

Thanks for the update. We will be praying. We love you so much and are thankful to God for His provision of wonder-drugs.

Anonymous said...

It is good to hear from you. I will be praying these are just the right meds for you. It was good to see you at Winterfest. I was so glad you were feeling well enough to come!


Anonymous said...

Echoing your prayers, Jessica! God is leading...

c said...

HI Jessica,my name is Claudia I am
40 years old,have two wonderful girls,Milagros 10,Luna 6.i tank God for them every day.
I have breast cancer w/ bone and 3 new spots in liver,been thought a lote of difrents quimos now just hade my 1st.ixempra,they tested a week after and the cancer levels went higher,we will twest again after the 2 that will be friday Dic 21 .I'm feeling pain in bones but i take Advil,or alive PM.
I fell like you say bless for having this new drug.and i will be praying for you and your family.
Merry Christmas ,jesus is are savior lets put all are problems in his hands.Claudia.

Anonymous said...


Have you read anything about DCA university of Alberta,it's somthing we can tray.
ALWAYS praying for you and you're family.