|Cancer camp, at home chemo|
|Chemo poison lookin cheerful cause that's how I roll.|
|Magical Unicorn glitter is part of my arsenal.|
|In cancer camp, a puppy and a Bible are essential.|
Metastatic breast cancer aka MBC is considered advanced and is regarded as terminal. There is no cure for it, and treatment is all about prolonging your life and slowing progression of the disease. The median survival after an MBC diagnosis is about three years, but obviously there are outliers who have been living with MBC for far longer! I plan on being one of those! One of the things you have to wrap your head around with this type of diagnosis is to completely change your thinking about what your future looks like. You have to roll with the punches because you likely will face several lines of treatment to slow down progression of the disease. A treatment regimen may work for a period of time, and then without explanation, stops working. I’m not a pessimistic person, but there is a sad reality to having what is considered a terminal illness. So as the saying goes you ‘hope for the best, and prepare for the worst!’
Very recent scans showed I was stable with bone mets, but a colonoscopy and endoscopy revealed another story. Biopsies from my esophagus into my stomach and also within my colon revealed the breast cancer is also present there. That’s the tricky thing about my specific type of breast cancer, invasive lobular carcinoma. She’s a tricky ass bitch, often recurring decades after original diagnosis, and doesn’t always light up on a scan. It was extremely disappointing to believe my treatment was working, scans were affirming it, only to find out my breast cancer had progressed again.
So after almost two years considered 'stable' with bone metastasis or bone mets (breast cancer spots on my bones) I’ve had progression. Again. Buckle up Buttercup, it’s on to the next line of treatment. I was on an aromatase inhibitor (estrogen blocker) called Exemestane, and a CDK-4 inhibitor (cancer cell cycle interrupter) called Ibrance. Thank you drugs for giving me time without progression, and I forgive you that you stopped working, although my medical debt will continue long after! Financial hardship and overwhelming medical debt during and after cancer treatment is a whole 'nother' blog post!
The next line of treatment for me is a drug called Xeloda (Capecitabine). It’s been around for years, and helps slow progression of both metastatic breast cancer and is also used for colon cancer. I’m grateful I can take this chemo drug at home, and don’t have to go to the Cancer Center for infusions, which would include getting a port placed back in my chest and the good 'ol chemo chair. The side effects associated with Xeloda are varied and nasty; of course it’s different for each patient. These are the common ones, courtesy of breastcancer.org
‘Xeloda is in an inactive form when you take it. Your liver, and then enzymes in the cancer cells, convert it to its active cancer-fighting form, 5-fluorouracil. (Cancer cells contain high levels of an enzyme that converts Xeloda to its active state.) This two-step activation process means that a higher concentration of the medicine ends up in the cancer tissue, rather than in healthy tissue.'
I made Hubby move over, he was
blocking Baby DoughDa.
One House Bakery