Yesterday Alwyn and myself went for the 3rd scan to see how the chemo and herceptin has effected the cancer. Unfortunately the bad boys are trying to hit back and some of the lesions are growing again. My oncologist told me this happens quite often after 4-6 months of chemo, because the cancer is trying to grow and spread differently. There is no need of loosing hope though, we just have to react and change my treatment. Cancer is very unpredictable you never know what it does, so that’s why I am going for my scans regularly to keep an eye on it and we can adapt the treatment accordingly.
Of course we were hoping for better news, but I am thankful there are options to defeat these bad boys. I will have to go for a F.I.S.H Test. FISH is a gene-based test used to determine the number of HER2 genes in the cells of the tumor. In HER2-positive breast cancer there are too many copies of the HER2 gene, the gene is “amplified”. I have gone for this test before, and now we need to see if there are still too many copies of HER2 gene. Depending on the result the doctors will decide which treatment I will get.
If the HER2 gene is high I would most probably get Vinoralbine + Herceptin + TKI, if it is low I will get the “red devil” (Adriamycin/Doxorubicin). They both are stronger than the treatment I am getting right now (Pacliataxel and Herceptin). I have developed similar to Nikki, (my breast cancer buddy we have the same symptoms , she was diagnosed 8 months before me) and she went on the red devil.
The side effect suppose to be much stronger: I will probably loose my hair again, nausea, feel worn out, low blood counts etc. But then again every patient reacts differently, so I will see.
I am disappointed in the results, but I knew it is not an easy path to walk. I will have to live with these fallbacks, it surely won’t be the last one, I have to be realistic. That’s why it is even more important to live my life to the fullest and enjoy each and every single day. I do have my weak moments, cry, am angry and hurt, but that is all part of the process. And with Alwyn at my side, things are just so much easier to take and better to handle. He is dealing with it extremly well and always says: as long as I am fine, he is fine! And we share our weak moments together, we know these moments are as important as the nice ones! He is by far the most wonderful man on earth! And I am so happy to call him MINE! 😉
All in all I have been very fortunate how things have developed. Many cancer patients are much worse of then myself, i.e. incompetent doctors, suffering from side effects, little people who support and love them, financial issues etc. just to name a few of them. I haven’t had any of these problems. Especially the support factor is a big influence on my body. The lovely mails, words, sms, presents I get are just never ending. My brother even tattooed my name on his arm, the “l” beeing the pink breast cancer ribbon, and he and Andrew shaved of their heads to show sympathy for all the cancer fighters out there. It all just leaves me speechless, thankful, happy, moved…. and makes me so strong.
Two weeks ago we had a fundraising event with breastbuddies.co.za . It was a great success and so amazing to see all the support we get. It is so important to get all these ladies aware of breast cancer so they do their regular check ups! (Hope you got my message: check your boobies tonight, ladies!)
Alrighty, once a decision has been made by the doctors I will let you know, how my treatment is going to proceed.
In the meantime, enjoy life, stay positve and keep on fighting! Life is beautiful!