After seeing my tumor marker had jumped 80 points in 3 weeks, I rejoiced- because I'm guessing that this means this therapy is working. A month ago, I had horrible pains in my bones, I was taking tylenol and ibuprofen around the clock- I even took a narcotic at night so I didn't wake up in pain. I thought for sure the cancer was spreading.....then like magic the pain disappeared. No pain meds needed. ?
I started exercising, and was feeling good for a good while. Then a surprisingly intense muscle spasm landed me in the ER, and was hospitalized for a day so I could get off the i.v. narcotics it took to control the pain. But X-rays, CTs, and MRI all said it was a muscle spasm, no blood clot, no pinched nerve, and completely un-related to cancer. Thankfully, family was able to rush in to watch Parker while I rehabilitated my weak leg, and weaned myself off all pain meds back at home. Once again, I am pain free.
The MRI did light up a bunch of spots, some could be active cancer, some could be healed cancer, and some were completely new. That did get me down for a day, but then I saw my tumor markers, 30% increase, just like the last time I had a good response to a therapy! I was so relieved and overjoyed, I then concluded that the pains I had from a month ago, must have been all those little cancer cells dying, inciting inflammation in my bones, and my immune system cleaning up the mess. I could see the macrophages before my eyes.
My doctor didn't even believe the tumor markers, he thought it was probably increased due to progression, not a response to my therapy. He said it was alittle late to see a flare like this, indicating cancer death. I disagree. He has been wrong before, and I know he is wrong again. The real test will be again in 3 weeks what the markers do. If they plummet, then I know my body well. If they continue to rise, I will be one of the very fortunate women to receive TDM-1, in the beginning of March. No side effects with that one, every three weeks, I get an infusion- and we might even pair it up with pertuzumab, which my insurance provider already approved for me! Wow two brand new anti-Her-2 drugs, and no hair loss, no side effects, and no more anti-hormonals (for awhile, maybe even a long while). And insurance picks up the tab (we're talking $1000s/month). Either way I win, and cancer looses.
In other news, life could not be more perfect. I may not be able to have more children, but I have the dearest, sweetest, most compassionate and cuddly little boy anyone ever had. He kisses all my owies, he prays that Mama's medicine keeps work'n, he hugs me when I say I miss my Mommy. Then to top it off, I have a husband that comes home from work and adores me. He does the laundry when I'm sick with a cold, he takes me on a date when I ask, he supports me in every way possible. These are things I never would have recognized had it not been for this thing called cancer. So for altering my life, refocusing my goals, and bringing me closer to God, cancer, I say thank you.