Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cancer as a Chronic Condition. August update.

Hello everyone.
I finished round 5 of my chemotherapy last week. My CA-125 results came back at 69.
A 6 point drop from 75 last month. I was hoping to see it in the 40's but still a drop is a drop so I'll take it.
At least it is headed the right way.

I don't know where this will leave me chemo-wise though. I really need to get down below 35 to get this disease in control. So far I have one more session scheduled in 3 weeks.
The Carboplatin is not doing my bone marrow any favors. My blood counts are in the toilet and I am beginning to feel the effects.
Mostly increased fatigue and a decreased appetite although I thank God every time I am hungry.
I lost another 5 lbs last month but I know I'll regain once all is said and done.
I am by no means skin and bones. The weight loss really hasn't become an issue. I just hate sleeping so much.

Dr. B. would like me to start a maintenance drug called Olaparib once I am stablized.
This medication works by directly affecting the DNA of the faulty BRCA gene, rendering it unable to reproduce itself. It was fairly recently approved here in the US for BRCA positive ovarian cancer.
I will gladly take it, although she warned me it only comes in 50mg, and I will require 400mg twice a day. Wow! 16 more pills to swallow.
I think the pharmaceutical company needs to reformulate this!

I chatted with women who are on this drug and the results are encouraging. All of them are in remission and have maintained their status for more than two years.
That may not seem like a long time to some, but when you are living with metastatic cancer it becomes your new normal to consider "How much time will this one give me?"

Your goal becomes not to beat the cancer (although you always hope) but rather, how can you achieve the longest disease-free period.
I had almost 3 years of recovery time since my first chemotherapy. I was able to get back in shape, and for that I am grateful. The longer you go between the onslaught, the easier it is on your overall health.
Because of all the new therapies, cancer is no longer a scenario of being either "cured" or "dying."
More and more, it is being treated as a "chronic condition" with flareups and setbacks, so that we must keep our bodies in as good a condition as possible during stable periods, so we can better
withstand the next "trip to the rodeo."
They've even coined a name for us.
They call us "Metavivors." AKA Surviving with mets.

Well why not? Why should having stage 3 or stage 4 be an automatic death sentence?
Also one must consider quality of life, and I am so grateful that mine remains very good.
I still enjoy most everything I did before and best of all, my abdominal pain has mostly disappeared.
This alone is an amazing feeling. I am blessed.

So that is my update. I remain eternally grateful for all of the outpouring of love and support I receive.
Hope everyone continues to enjoy this beautiful Summer we are having.



  1. Thanks so much for update.... keep kicking ass and don't give up ..I pray for you all the time...will be gone for a while......Janis