I should preface this with the fact that I was cheating a bit as my nurse had told me that it was going to be good news so I didn’t feel like I was going to be walking into anything scary when I went. Plus I figured now that the chemo is over I’m going to have to start going in for my Herceptin and Perjeta on my own. I can’t expect Jim to have Mondays off indefinitely to come and sit with me, so I thought it best to kick off my independence as soon as I could.
But on to the good news, it turns out that my chemo has been working. The last 6 months haven’t been for nothing. All those days of feeling crappy (all the future days of feeling crappy). They’ve had a point to them!
The chemo was doing its job.
The cancerous lymph nodes in my neck and ribs are no longer showing on the scans, the tissue around my sternum isn’t showing as cancerous either, and the best news is that the cancer in my sternum is clearing up too, there is barely anything there any more…….And my brain scan came back clear too. Well, if you must know, unremarkable! Which, not gonna lie, is offensive AF!
I’m nearly, kind of, almost, NED (No evidence of disease!). Which my oncologist says is fantastic news. And it is fantastic news. Such fantastic news. Even knowing it was good news, I didn’t expect that sort of good news!
It doesn’t, however, mean that I can stop treatment. Nope. Even if all my cancer clears up, I’ve still got to keep going with it, so here’s what I am currently on;
- Herceptin (Trastuzumab) and Perjeta (Pertuzumab) – IV – Every 3 weeks.
- Pertuzumab and trastuzumab both work by targeting specific proteins (receptors) on the surface of cells. Some cancers have too much of a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) on the surface of their cells. These are called HER2-positive cancers. The extra HER2 receptors stimulate the cancer cells to divide and grow. Pertuzumab and trastuzumab work by locking onto HER2 proteins. Each drug locks on to a different part of the protein. This blocks the receptors and stops the cells dividing and growing. Pertuzumab and trastuzumab only work in people who have cancer with high levels of HER2.
- Zoladex – injection – every 4 weeks
- Zoladex, or Goserelin is used to treat ER positive breast cancer in women who have not yet had their menopause. Before menopause, almost all oestrogen in women is made by the ovaries. Goserelin stops the ovaries making oestrogen.
- Letrazole – tablet – daily
- Letrozole is used to treat oestrogen-receptor positive (ER positive) breast cancer in women who have been through the menopause. Obviously, I haven’t naturally been through the menopause, but the Zoladex makes sure i’m forced into it
- Denosumab – injection – every 6 weeks
- Denosumab is a type of drug called a monoclonal antibody. These drugs are sometimes called targeted therapies. They work by ‘targeting’ specific proteins (receptors) on the surface of cells. The type I have is Xgeva® is given to people with cancer that has spread to the bones (secondary bone cancer) from a solid tumour. A solid tumour is a cancer that occurs in one of the body’s organs, such as the breast, kidney or lung, but not a blood cancer, like myeloma or leukaemia.
I’ll be on these drugs until they stop working, and, unless I get any crazy pains, it’ll be another 6 months before I have any scans to check they’re still going ok!
But that’s my news. The cancer is under control and I’m pretty happy to be able to tell you that! Especially after the losses the mets community has suffered of late.