A few random updates and several prayer requests…..
1. My oncologist was on the news last night discussing a new drug recently approved by the FDA to treat HER2+ breast cancers (see prior post from this morning immediately below for a brief post and the link). Now you can have a face with the name – “a true hero” my mom referred to him as, when I forwarded her the article. And that he is. 🙂
2. I have a few friends that are in serious need of prayers. First, my friend Amy, who I met in October at the Susan G Komen walk. She was on the news the week after me when WBTV’s Molly Grantham was sharing local survivor stories. She’s the one who started our local young survivor dinners at the Carolina Breast Friends house, which have been amazing and so much fun. She’s my age and has a daughter Aidan’s age. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 while she was breast feeding. Her cancer recurred sometime around October and is now considered stage 4 (spread to her lungs). She is such a wonderful, faithful, funny, witty person, a caring mother, wife, friend, etc. Her cancer is considered triple negative, which means it doesn’t grow from hormones like estrogen or progesterone, nor over-expresses the HER2 protein. All of this sounds great, but it’s oh-so the opposite. What it means, is that they don’t know what causes it to grow and drugs are sometimes ineffective. There aren’t drugs like Herceptin or the new one approved last week for her type of cancer. She’s been doing different kinds of chemo for almost a year now and the treatments have so far been unsuccessful and gruling. She has scans next week after changing her chemo coctail once again. Please pray for good results – which would mean ideally cure, but more likely shrinkage, and next best (no more growth). Her mom and dad are also battling stage 4 cancers (all at the same time). Please pray HARD for their family – I can’t imagine what they are facing. They need ALL of your prayers EVERYDAY.
Another friend of mine, Tracey, who I met through my blog in 2009 is having a mastectomy later this week and is need of prayers as well. We have never met in person but a friend of a friend forwarded her my blog back in 2009. We were both diagnosed with HER2+ breast cancer (another agressive kind) around the same time, were around the same age, both underwent years of fertility issues/drugs prior to that, and both went on to adopt baby boys imediately following treatment. The only difference in our stories is that her cancer came back. She underwent chemo again and just had very favorable scans showing the cancer was GONE!! This was amazing news and a huge relief for everyone close to her, especially that precious baby of hers. Please pray for her as she undergoes the more aggressive surgery on Thursday and that it keeps the cancer gone FOREVER.
My friend Sara needs prayers too. I met her at Dr. Limentani’s office when I was wrapping up chemo and she was gearing up for her surgery. She is also around my age and stage 4, like Amy. She’s had her cancer spread to her lungs and brain. She stopped chemo in January and switched to an all raw vegan diet. She looks amazing and it seems to be working wonders and slowing, almost stopping the progression. She has scans coming up in a few weeks too. Please pray for her as well – prior tumors gone and no new ones.
My last stage 4 friend Andrea, I met in 2009 as well. She’s been battling stage 4 bone mets (metastasis) since before I even met her. She’s been a trooper and inspiration to many along the way. She continues to do well but struggles with chemo side effects and has scans repeatedly. She’s always in need of prayers as well.
All of these girls are within their 30’s!! Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, along with all my other young survivor friends, who we’ve become so close with through our tight-knit group.
3. My last piece of blog update is about a new volunteer opportunity I’ve accepted. The American Cancer Society (ACS) has asked me to be an CPS-3 Champion Voluneteer. CPS-3 (Cancer Prevention Study) is the third study of its kind. ACS is one of the only cancer organizations to not only raise millions for cancer reaseach, but they also conduct their own cancer studies. The first CPS study, completed years ago, was the study that linked cigarette smoking to cancer. The second linked second hand cigarette smoke (and something else, I can’t remember). This is the third and they are hoping to find ground breaking preventative information. The study will begin around March 2013 and last up to 20 years. They are looking for around 300,000 participants – 1,200 in Mecklengurg county. The requirements are you have to have to have never had cancer, be between age 30 and 65 and open to committing to responding to 45 minute surverys every 2-3 years for 10-20 years. The volunteer position I’ve accepted is to help recruit people who want to participate in the study – and quite possibly be a part of history and cancer research!! Please contact me if you are interested. They want each champion to find 10 people who are interested. I think I can find plenty beyond that. Right now, I’m just keeping a list of interested names until early next year, once the enrollment process begins. It’s pretty simple once emrollment rolls around (no pun intended) and just involves a 45 minute survery and blood sample up front (around March 2013). Then a followup survery will be mailed to your house every 2-3 years after that. Let me know if you’d like to participate!
Well, that’s it. Hopefully I won’t have any breast cancer news to report until my next follow-ups, which aren’t scheduled until September I think. I’ve been doing really well this time with my anxiety, but it’s usually pretty good for the first two months after my last scan (which I think was in April). Hopefully I will keep my anxiety at bay until September. Until then and always, please keep my friends in your prayers.