Saturday, January 13, 2018

Major developments, frenetic days

I want a new drug...

Remember that song? by Huey Lewis and the News? Here is the link:
Lyrics excerpt (it's actually a love song but if the shoe fits...):

I want a new drug, one that won't make me sick
One that won't make me crash my car
Or make me feel feet, feet, feet thick
I want a new drug, one that won't hurt my head
One that won't make my mouth too dry
Or make my eyes too red
I want a new drug, one that won't spill
One that won't keep me up all night
One that won't make me sleep all day
One that won't make me nervous
Wonderin' what to do 
I want a new drug, one that does what it should
One that won't make me feel too bad
One that won't make me feel too good
I want a new drug, one with no doubt
One that won't make me talk to much
Or make my face break out
inane stock photo of IV to illustrate...

Hey! I GOT a new drug! 

Let's start with a nutshell oncology visit (confession: I love my doctors, all of them) in which I was told indeed I am a candidate for that marvel of marvels known as "targeted hormone therapy." So I learned that there are many types of breast cancer and my particular set of circumstances makes me a candidate for this wonderful no-chemo-no-radiation-no-surgery POTENTIAL treatment. Now to see if it works...the suspense is NOT killing me but a new more calm anxiety appears in my life accompanied by weekly blood work and an addiction to "my lab numbers."

The visit started with a visit to the financial department who wanted to make sure we could afford what insurance won't pay. Quickly to the doc after an hour wait (not kidding), then my first "labs," followed by some very confusing prodding on my part with three different people to get a 30-minute IV drip of some stuff to help my bones, finally got it done. I am handed a schedule of appointments, delivered to my IV treatment chair, how nice! Nurse called in my prescription to the pharmacy. Everyone was extremely helpful, competent and efficient despite the place being soooo busy but you as a patient have to be on top of things.

I did get a new drug, used since 2015 and approved on an expedited schedule just last year! Because I am postmenopausal with no hormone replacement in the past AND in great health otherwise AND my bone density is nearly normal despite the cancer having eaten half my bones AND cancer markers show exactly the right stuff (deep breath) I am a candidate for this therapy.
The cancer marker stuff is all very technical stuff= I don't understand but pretend I do.
Hopefully on the mend!
Thank you all for your good wishes,
thoughts, prayers, texts, emails and
phone calls. I won't let you down

The upshot is that I'm taking some badass drugs that hopefully will work. The blessing, as I mentioned is no chemo, no radiation, no surgery for now. Also the prognosis is, as my oncologist predicts, "I will be around for a long time." Oh blessings!
Some side effects seem like child's play: hot flashes, some bone pain, night sweats...poor husband will sleep in a sweatshirt again while the fan is blowing over my body. Of course the possibility for some bad side effects but doc says they just haven't seen a huge incidence.
And, and this is BIG for someone who hesitates before taking Ibuprofen for a headache, I will be on this cocktail of hormones for the rest of my life. Although, they come up with new things all the time, so who knows.
Right now I am hopefully on the mend, watching "my labs" like a hawk.

Healthy healthy healthy...
Some people want to go on a cruise,
I want to be able to split wood again!

On another note, I have been very angry at destiny for bestowing upon me this disease; it's all part of the process. But one of the reasons I can take this miracle potion is that my health is great otherwise. No lifestyle diseases have dared invade my body due to pretty good nutrition habits, willful absence of bad habits and, most importantly, exercise.
I have pushed my body to the brink of exhaustion when young and kept up a more reasonable exercise and activity schedule later in life. By golly, my scheme to stay healthy worked! Both docs concurred that my healthy lifestyle contributes to the potential good prognosis.

So, a cautions and hopeful but tiny YAY!


  1. Great stuff Maria. Apart from this wonder drug it will also be your unshakable belief that you are winning what will make it work.

  2. Maria,
    I've been reading your blog, groaning with you ... love the last line of your blog !
    Love to you and to Don,
    (Dale's wife) Dale is Herman and Mary Ellen's Son

    1. Thanks Anita! I believe I’m on the mend, things are looking up!

  3. I can't believe what you've gone and are going through. You have strength mental and physical rarely seen. Like an Olympic athlete. Hope you win the gold. Stayin' Alive! Sending love.


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