Cancer is Crap: Let’s Hear it for Motor City
Rethink is proud to republish the original blog posts of Leanne Coppen first featured by Chatelaine. Leanne passed away in 2011 from metastatic breast cancer and we are honoured that her friends and family have allowed us to share her words here on the Rethink blog.
MARCH 25, 2010 · 2:19 PM
Detroit said YES!
It’s a clinical trial testing the promising TDM1 in combination with two other drugs, and the doctor leading the study is a very well-respected and renowned oncologist. Plus, I spoke to her on the phone and I really liked her moxie. Detroit is the closest-to-home of all the cities I have applied to – and we have almost-family friends there, which is a great comfort to me as I consider being away from my own little family for long stretches.
I am not in yet. I still have to qualify for the study, which means passing a barrage of physical exams. My most specific fear is that these migraine auras I’ve been getting and the blurred vision I sometimes experience portend brain metastasis, which would exclude me from the trial. On the other hand, I’m totally exhausted and all I do is work on a computer all day long, so maybe it’s just eye-strain. I was saying to a friend earlier today, it’s funny when it gets to the point that the idea of cancer in the brain isn’t scary in and of itself but rather because it might mean I’m not eligible for a clinical trial. (Well, I guess that’s funny surreal, not funny ha ha.)
There’s another problem. Assuming I qualify, my place on the study will not be open for another five weeks from now.
I think we all know I can’t go another five weeks without treatment. I barely have the strength to type this post. And if I fear brain metastasis now, I can be fairly certain of further metastasis to somewhere in five more weeks without any treatment whatsoever.
The good news is that this trial doesn’t require patients to be treatment-free for four weeks prior to start-date, only three. So I need to access some kind of treatment now, for the next two weeks, and then stop 21 days before the start date of the trial. This is precisely what the study doctor recommended on the phone this afternoon. In fact her first questions were all about how I’m feeling and what we can do to improve things before I begin the trial.
So, what indeed can we do? Radiation? The last-straw chemotherapy? A combo of approved drugs not currently approved in combination? I have a call scheduled with my oncologist when she’s out of clinic later today to discuss the options.