Good News

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It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve written anything or even felt the desire to. The truth is, my weekly taxol regimen has been much harder than we thought it was going to be. The first two weeks were fine, but after that, I had a week of fevers which resulted in a trip to the ER, and week of such utter exhaustion that my heart was all fluttery and my vision blurred. I was walking through Whole Foods when suddenly it felt like I was wearing someone else’s glasses. It was scary.  It went away quickly. But, still.

I’ve simply been physically and emotionally drained and too pooped to post.

But enough boo hoo.

The good news is that we know the MORAB-003 trial is working. My latest CT scan showed that the 7mm “lesion” is now 1-2 mm. And there seems to be no new activity. Whew. The other good news is that we’ll be able to lower my dose of taxol starting next Monday. I’m hoping this will mean that I won’t have to literally draaaag myself everywhere like a too-heavy back pack. I’ve also learned that sometime this summer, I’ll start getting every third week off of chemo altogether.

So, if this stuff keeps working, gets more tolerable, and allows me to have a break here and there, what else could I ask for. Hair? Who needs it when there are wigs and cool summer fedoras.

I’ll be posting again soon when I make through these doldrums.

Hugs,

Jenn

*photo credit

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When my mom was here last week, we had to take a few trips to Cancer Central for Nupogen shots. While we were there, we ran into my friend Mandy.

She’s been doing chemo for a long time now for the OC. She’s on the MORAB-003 trial now, though, and doing well. In fact, some of the most persistent tumors (like the one on her liver) have disappeared altogether.

I was so happy to hear Mandy’s great news, especially in front of my mom. I can tell my family all day long that MORAB-003 is resulting in miracles for some women, but for my mom to hear it out of Mandy’s mouth, and to see the joy on her face: priceless.

On the way home, my mom, the eternal optimist that she is, said she felt it was serendipitous that we ran into Mandy, a sign that we were going to find out soon that MORAB-003 was working for me, too. We’ve been waiting patiently, you see. They test the CA-125 tumor marker at the beginning of the trial, then again, after four doses.

Well, mom was right. As usual. We found out this morning that my CA-125 had reached 756 when I started the trial, and after four mini-doses of taxol (and maybe the study drug), the number is now down to 110!

Phew.

I mean, Hallelujah!

I don’t think it’s sunk in yet that this very doable “lifestyle” chemo regimen is working for me. When it does, I might explode. Or cry. Or it might just be that we’ve been on this roller coaster for so long now that my reaction will be to simply be thankful and carry on.

It’s storming here in Sugartown today. Big fat raindrops pelt the daffodils. But this year, their stems are so robust that their bright yellow heads don’t even sag in the downpour. Maybe each year that they return, the daffodils grow stronger, more resilient. They just stand out there in the rain in their quiet glory.

Hugs,

Jennifer

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Virgil

Since we last spoke, we’ve decided to try another trial: Morab-003. I’ll be starting on low doses of Taxol, once per week. In addition, I’ll have 2/3 chance of getting a bio-agent called farletuzumab (farlaTOOzamab). It’s aPhase III trial, lots of ladies with the OC who are getting the combo are doing very well, and it’s happening here in Marin. Lovely. That’s a tri-fecta of joy, as far as chemo goes.

Unfortunately, we have to wait until February 14th to start treatment because they have to make sure my last trial substance is “washed out” of me before starting this trial. The waiting is hard, but both Docs G and C have assured us that it is safe to wait.

Tick. Tock.

In the mean time, we are enjoying the sunshine. Sorry East Coasters, the weather is currently shamelessly Californian in its brazen gorgeousness. Ahhhh.

On a side note, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be to tell Virgil that we will be starting treatment again. Those of you who know Virgil know that, while he loves any extra amount of snuggle-time that chemo brings, he doesn’t like to see mama unwell. Here’s how he took it:

"What's that you said, Mama J?"

"Oh. I'm so sorry to hear it. I don't know what to say."

"Listen. Everything's going to be okay. Whatever I can do. Snuggles, purring, whatever."

Hugs,

Jennifer

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Snabby took this of Little J in a redwood at Muir Woods

As though any of us needed a reminder that things can turn ON A DIME. I just found out that my PetCt was clear. The thing that one group of radiologists saw on the previous scan had no metabolic activity, no blood supply, no life, no potency. Nada. Remission confirmed (again).

So the trial to keep me healthy and strong should start tomorrow with one little benign injection. Wahoo.

Let’s celebrate with pictures of J and Lil’ Salty being fly at Muir Woods. (Pictures by Snabby).

Those are shinguards on Lil J’s arms. He uses them as Superhero arm bands. I think Lil Salty is flashing some signs, perhaps Sugartown signs?

Hope your week has been calm, lovely, and non-nail-bitingly terrific.

Hugs,

Jennifer

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