Friday, 31 August 2007

Today, I am grateful

The following post is one of a series of posts appearing Monday through Friday on The Cancer Blog. This feature -- Today, I am grateful -- allows me to share with readers my appreciation for all the treasures in my life, both big and small. In my post-cancer world, I find It healing for my soul to be mindful of the good in my life. It is my pleasure to share my gratitude with you.

I thought my treatment was complete after one lumpectomy, four rounds of dose-dense chemotherapy, and almost seven weeks of radiation. But when I saw my oncologist one June day, several weeks after my radiation was over, he announced that there was more in store.

Less than one month prior to our meeting, my doctor had been to a big oncology conference, the one where astonishing findings about Herceptin were revealed. Herceptin is the targeted breast cancer therapy made for women like me, with an aggressive Her-2 positive disease. My tumor over-expressed a certain protein, and clinical trials turned up great news for me. Herceptin could cut my risk of recurrence by 50 percent.

My doctor was convinced -- I needed Herceptin. He gave me a few weeks to think about it. Any more time and I'd lose my window. Herceptin had to be given within six months of chemotherapy treatment, and I was nearing this deadline. My chemotherapy ended at the very beginning of March. It was the end of June.

I decided to accept Herceptin therapy. My first dose came on July 27, 2005. For the following 52 weeks, I reported every three weeks for my infusion of live-saving medication. On June 28, 2006, it was all over. This was the end of my treatment.

Today, I am grateful for Herceptin -- for its effectiveness, for its FDA approval, for its timely release into the hands of my doctor, for its role in helping to save my life.

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