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Initially diagnosed June 4, 2009 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Stage II,Grade II tumor size: 2-3 cm node positive ER/PR postive HER2 Neu - negative Current Diagnosis: Metastatic Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Grade 3 Mets: Scalp/skin, Liver, Spine, Bone ER/PR + HER2/NEU -

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Delaying Chemo For Breast Cancer More Than 60 Days Increases the Odds of Premature Death

Good article for those newly diagnosed.  I did Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (chemo before surgery rather than after).  Of course mine was delayed 10 months longer than necessary due to initial diagnosis being delayed 10 months due to dense breast tissue and the radiologist's inability to read the films correctly.  I wonder if they did the same study on neoadjuvant therapy?

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Researchers Develop New Compound Known to Reverse Spread of Malignant Breast Cancer Cells

Researchers Develop New Compound Known to Reverse Spread of Malignant Breast Cancer Cells: "Bcl3"

WBC Good

I went in for lab today expecting to be lower than last time.  I had completed a full week of chemo, which I thought would pull everything down further.  Amazingly, it had come back up.  I'm almost in normal range on WBC now, and in normal range for the NEU(ANC)!  Here's this weeks CBC report:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Page Update

You may have noticed I updated my page. The background I've added is a view of the type of breast cancer I have, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, as seen through a microscope.   I removed the pink ribbon template and added a Metastatic Breast Cancer ribbon created by METAvivor.

I decided to make this change after much thought and research.  It seems that most of the money that is raised by the pink ribbon items is going towards curing those with low grade breast cancer.  I am glad those with low grade cancer are getting a chance for a cure, but I think that it is time that some of the money goes towards additional treatments and possible cures for metastatic breast cancer, also.

If you'd like to read more about this and understand better why I have removed the pink ribbons and changed the template for my page, click here.

Advanced cancer info


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Finding Your Inner Strength

I often use the analogy that having cancer is like being in a convenient store robbery.  You've got a gun to your head and you have to do what you have to do to stay alive and make it through the situation. You don't really have a choice, you just do what you have to do to survive. 

First Support Group

I was reading through the posts on the Metastatic Breast Cancer Networks Facebook page last night and saw a post regarding a phone support group for people who are living with metastatic breast cancer and decided to give it a try and see if it helped me.  I called in tonight and met 4 other women who made me feel much less alone.  In previous posts, I've commented on the loneliness of living with a chronic disease.  Don't get me wrong, I have a wonderful support group of family and friends, but sometimes you need to talk to someone who knows exactly what you are going through.  These women did.  This is the first time since my diagnosis that I've actually talked to anyone who has this disease and it was awesome!

There were a variety of women on there of all ages.  We were all going through different treatments and had different amounts of time between our initial diagnosis and our metastatic diagnosis, but we all had so many things in common.  The emotions, the confusion, the journey of getting from diagnosis to acceptance.  We all share this.  It was very therapeutic to hear other people talk about having similar concerns and experiences, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next call in two weeks.

10+ Years Stories

Living with metastatic breast cancer is a challenge, and these stories give us hope. If you have hit that 10 year mark, please share your story with all of us.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Long Hot Bath and Some Quotes

I just got out of a long hot bath in the Jacuzzi tub we installed and tiled ourselves just prior to my initial diagnosis.  I'm so glad now that we put that effort out. It's an oasis for me.  I go in there for hours to soak and read.  I've been reading a book a friend from school, Lori, sent me called "Stranger in the Village of the Sick" - by Paul Stoller.  

Good News - Chemo is working!

I got my CA 27-29 tumor marker results back.  This is the test that initially detected the metastasis back in October 2013.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Added Event Calendar

Added event calendar to my blog for those who want to know what's coming up. It's on the pink bar below the blog title.

Today's Doctor Visit

I went in for blood tests, an oncologist visit, and a Zometa infusion today.  They performed the following blood tests:  CBC, CMP, and CA 27-29 test.  I have results back on the CBC and CMP.  CA 27-29 is the tumor marker test, and I should be able to get a copy of the results when I go back next week.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lab Report

Good news on the CBC lab yesterday.  Neu # (ANC) up 1 point.  Currently at 3.4 (normal is 1.5-6.5).
Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lab tomorrow

Cold symptoms mostly gone today.I'm curious to see what my cbc lab results show tomorrow. The stat they track for neutropenia(low immune system or white blood cells) is the NEU # (ANC).  Normal is between 1.5 and 6.5.  My last cbc showed I was on the low end of normal at 2.4.  If it drops too low they give you a shot of Neupogen which causes your bones to produce more white blood cells, which boosts your immune system so you can safely continue your chemo treatments. 
Saturday, January 4, 2014

Science Names Cancer Immunotherapy its 2013 Breakthrough of the Year

MD Anderson News Release 12/19/13
New reality for long-time dream of medical researchers is grounded in work by Jim Allison

Detect. Destroy. Remember. The mantra of the immune system’s relentless campaign against infectious invaders and the body’s own abnormal cells finally is applying to cancer in meaningful ways.

The journal Science today named cancer immunotherapy its 2013 Breakthrough of the Year, the latest recognition of the rising tide of treatments pioneered by Texan-born Jim Allison, Ph.D., chair of Immunology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and executive director of its Moon Shots Programimmunotherapy platform.

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