If you know me well, you know that I’ve always got a plan and a backup, and a few more backups beyond that. I gotta say, my current life situation was no where in my planning or remotely on my radar.
This being said, we’re not fortune tellers, so we have to give ourselves a little grace if life doesn’t go as we plan, hope, or desire.
Short update: Had my monthly visit to the cancer center. Pretty routine – awesome blood draws by the lab techs, lovely chats with the Nurse Practitioner and front receptionist, and once the IV was in my infusion was smooth. The second stick for the infusion is always tricky. My one good vein is used for the labs and then they pull in the rock star nursing staff to get a vein the second time.
Anyway, this was a routine check to make sure nothing weird is going on and everything is A-ok.
Longer update: You will recall that with Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) there is no cure; only treatments. Once you run through all the treatment lines you run out of options and the cancer wins. So, the goal is to stay on any treatment as long as possible.
There is general guidance for treatments that are based on the subtype of MBC you have. The oncologist and patient talk about the wiggle room in that guidance and make a personalized plan.
Right now it appears that my current treatment line is working (my scans in October were stable). However, it’s always good to be looking forward so we can sort through options and come up with a good plan.
To that end, I got a call earlier today from the Clinical Research Coordinator reaching out with information about a potential clinical research trial that is an option when my current treatment line fails. She gave me paperwork today to read through so I can learn more.
(Fun fact for those of you familiar with the IRB process. The pre-screening informed consent form is 15 pages long. The informed consent for the trial is 30 pages long. A tad bit more detail and information than the ones we fill out for education research!)
I’m somewhat familiar with the particular clinical trial and am eager to learn more. It’s important to note that clinical research trials are not a last resort! There are many that provide standard of care while also investigating new treatments.
I love to have information – and yet – I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit of a gut punch to hear her say ‘when the current treatment fails’. No one wants to think about that, but we have to. Well, I have to. I cannot bury my head in the sand and pretend like the current meds will work forever. I firmly believe knowledge is power and I’d rather be in the power seat with cancer.
One more note – my hip has only gotten crankier. I am hoping to have a procedure done next week (December 5), it’s not confirmed (believe it or not). The not-knowing is frustrating and challenging. I’ll share more once I actually have information.
Donna, you truly inspire me with your positivity and honesty. Holding you in my heart and praying for that surgical procedure soon so you can resume your mountain trails! Love you, Jill