I’m focusing on the positives that will come out of my cancer being more active. This is two scans with increased tracer uptake and there is one new lesion on my spine, so we need to change things up. The first plan is to get me on the trial for TDM-1, finally open here at SCCA, also called the “Theresa Trial.” It’s going to take a few weeks to get a brain MRI, MUGA heart scan, EKG, etc. to actually get into the trial and then to get randomized.
There is a 2/3 chance that I would be randomized into the TDM-1 arm, and this is what we want. It would be an infusion every 3 weeks where the chemo is bound to Herceptin, so it targets just the cancer cells and not all the cells in your body. Way fewer side effects than regular chemo. If I’m in the 1/3 randomized into the non-TDM-1 arm, then I would get the new drug Perjeta. This would be fine, but Perjeta has to be given with the chemo Taxol, which I’ve had before and isn’t fun. No hair, fatigue, etc. The kind of side effects that you think of when you hear “Chemotherapy.”
There is a chance that my insurance wouldn’t approve Perjeta because it’s only approved as a first-line drug. You’re only supposed to get it if you haven’t had any other chemo in the past. If this happens, I would start on Navelbine.
So, the next few weeks will be a lot of tests and waiting around to find out what the exact plan is going to be. But I’m focusing on the best part: I AM STOPPING THE XELODA AND TYKERB!!! I’m very excited about this. Yes, they are good drugs and they have kept me going a year and a half. But man am I sick of the side effects. Maybe my feet will heal. And my nails might grow. And my face might stop breaking out. And the mouth and scalp sores might go away. And the fatigue might be over! I might actually be able to walk up a flight of stairs and not have to stop and rest at the top.
So no matter what the treatment plan, I get to be chemo-free for the next 3 or 4 weeks while we work everything out. Hooray for a break! Especially just in time for my trip to Montana. So while it’s not great that my stupid cancer is growing in my bones, this is very manageable and the new treatment might be better than the current one.
Keep your fingers crossed for me that I’ll be accepted into the trial and get assigned to the TDM-1 arm!