About 4 years ago my girlfriend was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. They did a mastectomy and then put her on chemo. They had to later perform another procedure to clean up the borders. They then gave her a drug that was designed to reduce the chance of recurrence by 5%. I didn't do too much research, and thought it was a done deal.
She is thin, never smoked, and never drank much.
Almost two years ago she found a mass on her lower left neck. Yup, it was back. They then found a small one in her chest and two small abdominal ones. Her2 negative, Pr negative, ER positive. They put her on Afinator and then another chemo. Her already compromised kidneys then failed, and she was in the hospital for weeks. They thought she'd need dialysis for life, but they came back - function is now moderate. It was a nightmarish time, but seemed like a medical miracle.
I got her to begin taking turmeric/curcumin and began doing a lot of research. Trying to separate the nonsense from the possible good suggestions is difficult. I took her to a naturopath, acupuncturists, etc. A series of chemos followed later - she was recently on Navelbine, Ibrance, and is now on Eribulin. She's really tired most of the day, and is on the couch. Interestingly the last scan showed the abdominal and chest tumors to be smaller, with the one on her neck about the same size. They did a PET scan yesterday and we're waiting for the results. We only seem to get two kinds of news: Bad news, and worse news. I am hoping for better news.
Her mother is here from Peru, she has more relatives coming, and she has friends and people from her old job stopping by every day. Everyone really, really likes her. It's good to have support.
As I write this, she and her son are going to meet with the palliative care group for end-of-life decisions. I can only image how rough that's going to be. It's very painful even thinking about it. I understand what they are doing, but to me, that's really negative.
She has just finished three months of Avemar (AveUltra), and we're going to stay with it. Until recently she has had stomach problems and wasn't eating well. Of course that didn't help. I was supposed to take her to to a natural clinic in Boulder, CO today, which specializes on this kind of thing, but the other meeting was happening at the same time. Very frustrating. Now we have to wait two more weeks for that.
This is pretty much all I think about anymore. I feel sorry for myself and how much all of this sucks, but then I realize that this is not about me.
I continue to look at all options, strongly believe that the integrative approach is the best way to go. We're getting desperate enough to even try "The Secret."
I stay in touch with her oncologist via e-mail to see what trials she might be eligible for. I'm always pushing. Her reduced kidney function doesn't make it easy.
Anyway, I'm sure you have heard this kind of story before...
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