Progression and the Bikini #51

On December 21st I had my regularly scheduled PET/CT and unfortunately Abraxane has stopped working. I have progression again. I’m quite sad about this news.  Once again neither The Blood Guy nor I were prepared to see this happening and again I am devastated. I have done so well on Abraxane and truly a great QOL (Quality of Life). Below are the highlights:

  • There is a lytic defect in the left lateral ischium (butt bone) which appears either new or larger than on prior study with an SUV 4.1. There is a new lytic lesion in the right lateral sacrum with SUV of 3.5. There is a new lytic lesion in the left anterior ilium (hip bone) with an SUV of 5.4. There is uptake within a lytic lesion with sclerotic borders (scarring) in the posterior right ilium with an SUV of 6.6. This could represent a pathologic fracture or progression within the lesion as the posterior cortex is now involved. There is a new lytic lesion in the anterior L3 inferior vertebral body with an SUV of 5.0. There are multifocal lytic and sclerotic lesions scattered throughout the spine and pelvis with previously treated metastases. 
  • A small stable lung nodule is present, approximately 2mm  in the superior segment of the right lower lobe of the lung. There is left lower lobe atelectasis or scarring seen with some deformity of the overlying chest wall. 

For the past 3 weeks I have stopped chemotherapy. I’ve been meeting with The Blood Guy and my team discussing options. He thinks now is the time to start ovary suppresion.  Of course, I’m not on board with this. As I have stated before I feel stopping my ovaries from working isn’t enough to stablize this cancer. It is smart and more complex. Tamoxifen failed and I was miserable while taking it but he doesn’t want me to do another chemotherapy agent as my body needs a break and I agree. I also agree that if this cancer continues growing at this rate (a new chemo every 9 months) I’ll have gone through all agents before it even gets to my lungs and liver leaving me nothing left to try. So, I am seriously considering Zoladex shots to stop my ovaries from producing Estrogen, Faslodex shots to stop my adrenal glands from making Estrogen and Ibrance a targeted therapy.  The Ibrance/Faslodex combo was approved by the FDA this past April and only works in post-menopausal women. Ibrance is  CDK 4/6 inhibotor. Think making a cake from scratch analogy: you need flour. Ibrance takes that flour away therefore no cake can be made.  However, Ibrance is very expensive. It is a a pill costing $10K-12K for a 21 day supply. It is difficult to get approved. If that’s the case then I’ll start another type of chemo. I will have a full decision tomorrow.

On January 11th I started the Breast Cancer to Bikini fitness competition. This is a group of women who have decided to participate in a body building/fitness competition. You know those body building shows…? While channel surfing you may have come across one, watched for a few minutes then possibly moved on. Well, that is similar to what me and my fellow survivors are trying to accomplish. We have been given a longer time period to train and a special class has been designed for us (breast cancer survivors) as our bodies have been rearranged from surgeries, chemo and radiation. We lift weights 3-4 times a week, cardio excercise 6 days a week and a follow a personal menu.

For the past week I am doing some light training as I have been experiencing some low back pain and have active lymphedema. I am following my menu which is kind of easy right now because it’s not that different from what I already eat. My problem is I don’t eat or drink enough. It’s a struggle when I’m simply not hungry and water tastes like I’ve been sucking on a nickle. All of the services have been donated for us to accomplish this goal – being on stage in a bikini but more importantly HAVING CONFIDENCE WITH OUR BODIES and OUR NEW NORMAL..The bikinis, personal training, to menu selection and clinical support have all been provided so we can focus on meeting this goal. We are representing all breast cancer types and we are being followed by Channel 2 KTVN and a private firm for a documentary. As I am one of the few Stage IV survivors and only one on chemo I am interviewd a lot. I get nervous! LOL like when I met Patrick Dempsey and Joan Lunden!

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Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat. – F. Scott Fitzgerald