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Friday, August 10, 2007

Medical Update: August 2007

I promised to let you know when I know more….
So I hope that this will be an easier way of letting you all know what is going on with me....

The outpouring of love and support from all of you was absolutely amazing!

I finally got the results that I am HER2 positive. As soon as I got the results, I felt calmer and more in control. Now we could determine and start treatment!

I began treatments two weeks ago, Thursday July 26 (11 Av), with vinorelbine (Navalbine). It made me itchy! This reaction is noted in the research, but it is uncommon (lest anything about me be common!).

I couldn’t tell if the vinorelbine made me tired because they gave me this super duper antihistamine to counteract the allergic reaction (that caused the itching), and the antihistamine knocked me out!

Last week, on Wednesday, I got Herceptin for the first time and then the vinorelbine. The drugs are administered via IV, and the doctors always introduce one drug at a time, to see if it causes a reaction. At first, Herceptin is administered very slowly, to give the body a chance to adjust. Eventually, it will just take an hour and a half to get the Herceptin. But this time it took four hours! They had to go slower than usual because… it made me itchy! But when it went slower, it was okay. The vinorelbine made me itch again, but not as badly as the first time. So I didn't take the anti-histamine until the evening. This way, though I was tired, I wasn't completely knocked out.

This Wednesday, I'm getting a new drug, to prevent further deterioration of my bones. I'm actually in a clinical trial, so I am either getting Zomera or a new drug called Denosumab. Participating in the trial is a win-win for me. The Zomera is the next generation drug of its kind, and is not covered by the health funds. And the Denosumab is a new drug which is not even available on the market. So, either way, I'm getting a better drug than I would have gotten had I not been in the study.

So that's it for the medical summary. In a few months, I will get tested again to see how the cancer is responding to the treatments.

With love and optimism,

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