Archive for January, 2012


January 3, 2012

my parking spot today

So, another three months has passed by, I’m still alive, and got to go to Hickman Cancer Center today for my transfusion of good drugs.   Zometa…or as I kinda like to think of it now, as “Zippity-do-dah Zometa”.

Two years and 10 months out from BC diagnosis, and I’m doing pretty damn good.   Lucky me….discovered icky cancer, had good insurance, lots of accumulated sick leave (well…not anymore…) and signed up for the most aggressive treatment options possible, including the Zometa clinical trial.  At the time, I had absolutely no reservations about signing on for the trial.  And no, it wasn’t about being nice (ha!  fooled you!) or advancing research (nice idea, just not why I signed on) but if I’m completely honest about it, I was mostly interested in staying closely connected to an oncologist.  I didn’t care what the excuse is/was , as long as I got to sign up for an onco appointment every three months, I was happy.

Oh sure, I read everything and talked to everyone about Zometa, and mostly all the medical people nodded in agreement, “probably worth a try”.  And honestly, I was, and still am, willing to do anything to prevent recurrence.  And lucky, lucky me…..turns out Zometa maybe really is one of the good cancer fighting drugs.

Last month (12/2011) researchers published results that indicated Zometa was not only helpful in strengthening bones from the damage that cancer treatment inflicts, but also seems to protect against recurrence, as well.

“The benefit persists” long after treatment ends, said Dr. Michael Gnant of Austria’s Medical University of Vienna, who presented his research last week at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Gnant’s study showed women who received the bone drug Zometa were 37 percent less likely to die than women who didn’t. That means that 4 to 5 more women with breast cancer out of every 100 were alive seven years later because of the treatment.

Some cancer specialists are now calling for Zometa to be offered to all patients like those in this study – younger women forced into early menopause by hormone-blocking cancer treatments.

“It’s a new standard of care,” said Dr. James Ingle, a Mayo Clinic breast specialist.

I don’t quite feel like I have my old life back yet, still get tired more easily than I think I should, still have physical therapy issues as well as the compromised immune system and taste buds.

But, I am very cautiously optimistic about the ending of this chapter of my story.