Keep on Swimming – update, June 7, 2022

It was a good run. I’ve been on the same (first) line of treatment for nearly 3 years (July 2019). Alas, the oncologist thinks that the medication is failing me and that we should move to the next line of treatment.

It’s important to note that the medication is failing ME and not the other way around. I’ve done nothing to cause this.

I had a Zoom call with my oncologist this morning because I’m still under the weather from COVID. He went over my bone scan and CT scan results.

Short version – The CT scan showed some mild bone disease worsening and new small fractures on the C7 and T3 of my spine. Given that we’ve had the “should we change treatment?” conversation for ~6 months, he thinks it’s time.

Previous areas of my spine impacted include C7, T9, T10, L4 and S1. Latest scans show more fracture on C7 and also T3.

So, disappointing but not surprising or unexpected. The doctor was very upfront with me from the beginning – we have medication to treat Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) but no cure. Eventually all the medication will fail. It’s not a matter of ‘if’, rather ‘when’.

We are finalizing my next line of treatment. The standard of care is a drug called Flaslodex (aka Fulvestrant). I’ll share more about it later.

I have 2 options: (1) Flaslodex alone or (2) randomized clinical trial with Flaslodex and Verzineo (Abemaciclib, another CDK 4/6 similar to Ibrance). I opted for the trial.

A research nurse will call me about the trial and we will sort out details.

Sigh. Knew it was coming. Still a bit of a gut punch. This is the long game though…

I asked about progression free survival (PFS) on Flaslodex. He said his general experience is 1-3 years. He said I did better than average on Ibrance and so that could be an indicator of how well I respond to treatments. Overall, of course, hard to say.

I may have to go a bit without treatment so it flushes out of my system before starting the new one, especially for a trial so that they can be sure the effects are from the new medications.

As of today, still taking first line treatments (even though they are failing me): Ibrance, Anastrazole, Lupron, Zometa


  1. Leysia says:

    Thank you for this, Donna. I am sorry you need to switch treatments, but am hopeful that this next run is a long one. I would love to walk together again when you recover from covid.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary says:

    I am so sorry to hear this! It makes me so angry that 48 years after my mother’s battle you have to battle this, too! When is research going to get an answer? Thank you for participating in the trail but I wish you wouldn’t have to. Hugs!


  3. ultimatesurvivorprime says:

    Thanks for the update, Honey. Fingers crossed the new treatment(s) will be helpful and cause no problems. Since your COVID diagnosis, and these changes, will you still be able to travel to Hawaii as you planned later this month? Hope so!

    Take care and please keep up updated.

    Love you,

    Mom & Pop S


    1. charlevo says:

      Thank you! Me too!

      I’m working with my medical team to navigate starting new treatment and the clinical trial with our vacation. They agree that I should not miss it!


  4. Jill Moretti says:

    Thank you, Donna, for sharing this journey. I think it’s important for all of us. A gut punch, indeed! Stay strong and know that we love you.


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