We actually got the news on the way to my friends surprise 50th Birthday party and we were picking up his friends from a hotel near the airport. We had just pulled in to the parking lot of the hotel when the surgeon called with the news. We only had about 5 minutes to gain our composure before pulling up to the front of the hotel which wasn’t easy.
We shared the news with a small group at the party who took us downstairs and prayed over us and for us and for the battle we were about to embark on. And I can tell you it has been just that….
Our next appointment was with the chemotherapy oncologist, he said that while the first cancer was triple negative, this one seemed to be showing slightly HER-2 positive which is a gene that plays a role in some breast cancers, while they normally only consider it positive if it is at least +2 and my wife was +1 they decided to treat it as if it were positive.
Plan A was to hit the cancer hard with carboplatin, taxotere, herceptin and perjeta every 3 weeks for 6 rounds, a double mastectomy and radiation of the cancerous lymph nodes in her neck and armpit.
After 3 rounds of this horrible cocktail that nearly killed my wife, we were scheduled for another CT scan to see if the chemo was killing the cancer in the chest wall which is the only way we could move forward with the surgery. The results were negative, the cancer in the chest wall had not shrunk and the oncologist seemed to think that there was nothing else that was going to work. He said that anything else would only have a slight chance of working and we felt like he had already written us off.
We started working on alternative medicine, health and nutrition, vitamins and supplements and searching for doctors who were on the cutting edge of research and that were willing to help.
First we ended up seeing a doctor at a local University that was supposed to be an amazing doctor, we met with her and at first were really impressed. After examining my wife, reviewing the files and consulting with another doctor who is a specialist in inflammatory breast cancer the doctor called us and had this conversation. “We have plan A, B & C, Plan A is Adriamycin, we did some testing and found that this drug was shrinking the tumor cell with the first cancer and we believe it will do the same thing this time, Plan B, recommended by the specialist, would be navelbine and xeloda, Plan C is we are going to look for clinical trials for you”.
So we were pretty excited to start the new chemo because the 3 weeks that she had been off of chemo had the cancer starting to grow and spread pretty quick so we knew we needed to be acting fast
To be continued…