It has been awhile since I've posted anything about my health (how's that for a postive change!?) and I know many of you are wondering how I'm doing, so I thought I'd take a minute to share what's been going on.
Right now I am exactly where I want to be: my last few scans have shown no active cancer, only evidence of where cancer has been. My doctors tell me that Stage IV cancer cannot be cured, which means that even when the cancer is inactive and too small to be seen, it is still there lurking and a potential threat. Therefore, they use words like "control" rather than "cure", and "stable" rather than "clear". At the end of the day, this is all just semantics, and the summary is that I'm doing as well as I could possibly be doing and can potentially remain in this state for years to come.
Or, it could all change at any time, which keeps things exciting.
I will continue with my treatments of TDM-1 every three weeks as long as my liver can process the medicine and as long as my heart muscle is not damaged by it. So far, both of these measures are just fine. The treatments vary in how hard they hit me--some are hardly noticible and some deal me a bit of a blow, but nothing life-stopping. I am truly fortunate in this, as it means that I can continue treatment without giving the cancer a break to regroup, as I would need to if I were on traditional chemo.
I will continue to be thoroughly scanned every nine weeks as long as I am in treatment. I will always post those results here as I get them. My next scans are this Thursday and the following Monday so look for news probably around the end of next week.
I will not be having surgery. My oncologist and surgeon agree that once the cancer has spread around as mine did, there is no benefit to surgery at the original tumor site. Plus, there is no detectable tumor left in the breast anyway, so they would basically be cutting off a healthy breast to prevent nothing. I am good with this.
So, that's about it for now. The medicine is working beautifully, I feel pretty good most of the time (more often than not I feel normal, which was unexpected six months ago), and I am hopeful for a good, long run at this status quo.
Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers for so long.