Herceptin and Tamoxifen are my Friends

I don’t want to count my chickens before they are hatched, but I have a feeling herceptin and tamoxifen are going to be my new best friends.
Tuesday was bone scan result day.  Due to some scheduling issue my oncology appointment was moved to right before my CT scan so I don’t know the status of my liver yet.

For scan results there are basically three available options: regression, stable, and progression. And in the metastatic breast cancer world that I now inhabit there are a couple of fun phrases used when getting scan results.
Regression and stable are great news while progression is bad news meaning there are new mets or the current mets are bigger. Progression also means the current treatment is no longer working and it is time to move on to something else. I am hoping to not hit progression for a long time.

Now that I have covered the bad stuff, back to the good stuff, regression and stable. Regression is what I had in January when my PET scan showed only residual activity in the primary tumour and no activity in the metastatic areas. That is pretty extreme though. Really, any decrease in activity is classified as regression and it is usually the best news possible.
Stable is the other good news and it is what all us metastatic cancer patients aim for. If you’re stable it means the current treatment is keeping the cancer in check even if it isn’t shrinking. Regression is ideal but stable is still great.

Finally I have made it to the fun phrases. When the magic word regression is heard that means you have a date with Reggie. And when the good news is stable it means you get to dance with the stable boy. And it’s even better when all your friends come out to the dance with you:-)

So, based on my bone scan results I am stable (!!) and if my CT results are the same it means there is some dancing in my future. I just have to wait until Monday to find out for sure if I should be buying a new dress and some shoes.  I am feeling pretty optimistic but one of the great joys of cancer is that just because the cancer is behaving in one area it does not always mean it is behaving in another area.

Ok. That covers the good news. Now the slightly less good news or maybe it is more the annoying news. My skin is still recovering from the radiation. A large portion of the pink has turned brown and is not an issue. There is one area on my sternum where, in the words of the onc, “wow, she (that being my radiation oncologist) really blasted the crap out of you there, didn’t she!”. That area has turned a beautiful lobster red colour and now I understand the itchy factor. I’m not supposed to scratch the area and I am being really good but every once in a while I just rub it a little bit and yowzers that is not worthwhile. The area is SO sensitive right now. Oh well, a 2 inch by 4 inch area that is uncomfortable is pretty insignificant. It should all be gone in another week.

In the meantime I am currently sitting on the 6th floor of the cancer agency getting my latest dose of herceptin. And this evening Ian and I are packing up the pets and heading to Pender for the start of ling cod season and to let Orchid get in a little mousing.

And if you are looking for any good sporting events this weekend, the Giro d’Italia starts on Saturday. Ryder Hesjedal from Victoria is the current champion so set the PVR and enjoy some bicycle racing.
There are also the trusty, or perhaps not so trusty, Canucks in the playoffs.  I really want them to beat San Jose but I gotta say that I am not about to hold my breath.

4 thoughts on “Herceptin and Tamoxifen are my Friends

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