My Soul Mate

Back in March and April of 2017, when I was first diagnosed with cancer, this was the guy I would hold close and cry to. And he just sat close and let me cry. Four plus years later, he’s old and struggling and I can’t put my burden on him. But I can still hold him close.

Fatigue, and COVID Confusion

I know my body. And know how tired I should be based on what I’ve done. I’ve been doing some gentle “movement”. Can’t really call it working out. We went to a very small farm market on Saturday and then lunch. I came home and laid down about 3:30 and pretty much stayed on the couch then went to bed and slept till 7:30 on Sunday. Sunday and Monday has been pretty much a repeat of the same.

I had my second treatment on a Thursday and was a bit surprised to see my red blood cell levels had tanked so quickly. Not enough to stop treatment so that was a good thing.

I reported this to my “research nurse” today and she said it’s to be expected. As long as I feel better after resting then all is good and no reason to stop treatment. I can rest when I’m tired, no problem there.

Here’s where I am having trouble, though. Last week whenever I signed into my MSKCC portal, I got the following message:

Vaccine

So I asked. And was told yes I qualify and a third vaccine is scheduled for the day after my next CT scan. I asked for an antibody test first. And here’s what I was told:

“Hello Mrs. Horan
This is Tetiana, a covering RN
I am sorry, but we do not perform Covid ab testing at MSK, neither it can provide us with the reliable information whether you developed immunity after first 2 vaccinations.
Once you got the vaccination, it is assumed that you are immune, even if your ab are negative.
Yes, you are eligible to get your 3rd booster dose at MSK
And yes, it would be the same vaccine you had in past.
You would need to send us a document proving that you were vaccinated , with what and when.
You can do it via the patient portal
Once we have it, we can work on scheduling your 3rd shot
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate and reach the office
Stay safe and have a nice day!

So besides the fact that English is not this persons first language, and I already provided proof of my first two vaccines, how would you feel about a third vaccine?

We Have A Plan, Part 2

It’s been a bumpy few weeks, my last visit with Dr. Traina was on July 6. Trying to get everything in line to get me enrolled in this study has been challenging at best. Downright frustrating mostly.

But the overwhelming cloud throughout for me has been — I have triple negative metastatic breast cancer which has emerged in my lung, lymph nodes and adrenal glands. And that scares the crap out of me.

Yesterday was more CT scans in Middletown and today was extensive bloodwork, EKG and vitals followed by a visit with the research nurse and Dr. Traina. We will start the first clinical trial treatment on Tuesday, August 10. My port is a blessing.

Here’s the simple explanation of the plan. Three week cycles. Day 1 is two chemo drugs and one immunotherapy drug. Day eight is two chemo drugs. Day nine through day 21 is “off”. Repeat 6 times, maybe 12 times. So that’s 9 months. 24 chemo / infusion treatments. And maybe there will be no side effects.

And maybe this will work. I’m scared more then I have ever been in my life. (See my previous blog post that I didn’t share). It’s not about how strong I am. Or how much I’ve inspired anyone. That matters when I’m dead.