February 21, 2013

Wow! It’s been forever since I’ve updated, hasn’t it? Sorry about that. There hasn’t been too much to report, so I’ve just stayed quiet. But here’s a quick update.

In December Dr. Smith told me it seemed that the medicine I was on wasn’t really doing anything to stop the progress of the tumors. It is still on the bone, according to the PET Scan, but it is progressing and the markers continue to rise. So we talked it over and made a switch. He does a lot of research, and his recommendation is a drug called Afinitor, combined with Exemestane (an aromatase inhibitor). Afinitor is used for numerous other cancers, including pancreatic, so it’s pretty strong. I began it in December and at my January check up talked about side effects. I have noticed some, but I can live with them for sure. Let’s just say there are notable digestive issues at times. And at least once a day a wave of nausea. But it’s not terrible. I’ve also had a bit of a rash. But we’re not sure if that’s the drug or the cold weather. 🙂 My labs have been OK with the new drug. So we soldier on. I’ll have a more thorough check up in March and we’ll see what’s happening. All in all, I feel well. (oh yeah, did I mention I retired at the end of October? hee hee) I do notice some fatigue, but I am doing well.

Now, let me say, this one took some discussion. Afinitor is an extremely pricey drug. And I’m on new insurance now–Humana through my state retirement. Thankfully my copay is $25 for the Afinitor and $11 for the Exemestane. Because together the cost of the drugs is $8500. I told them I’m on the platinum plan. wow! That was a shocker for sure. Grateful and thankful is all I can say. I am truly blessed.

All this said, I have noticed one change from the last drug. I am noticeably less nervous and irritable. I had not realized how the previous medicine was affecting me until I went off it. Wow! My hands no longer shake uncontrollably, and my mood is better. To everyone whose head I tried to bite off, I sincerely apologize. Really!!!!!!!!!

One reason I haven’t updated is I couldn’t find words to talk about my sister-in-law, Dana. She suffered a recurrence of her brain cancer last fall. After a 3 year remission it came back in a very aggressive form. She lost the battle recently. Much too young. She’ll be missed by so many, but we are all better for having her in our lives. Keep her husband Bill, and children/children-in-law in your prayers.

Mike and I are traveling to the Atlantic 10 conference in Brooklyn in a few weeks. A dream of his is to see his Rams play in this conference. They are fun to watch. And the fact that it’s in Brooklyn is quite a perk. We will have time for a little sight-seeing while there. Can’t wait! I’ve been to NYC in college. But they kept us under lock and key. Imagine that!

Stay well everyone. Prayers to all my friends who continue their fights. And thanks to all our wonderful supporters. We couldn’t keep this battle going without you guys!

Love to all. Anne and Mike (and Lucy and Sebastian)