We’ve spent the past week getting a new set of scans for review with Dr. S. The breast tumor was significantly larger with lots of bigger nodules around the breast area. Also, her arms were hurting a lot more, and she couldn’t stop the pain even with extra meds. So, we weren’t surprised on Monday when Dr. S. reviewed the scans and found progression of disease in almost every area. It is also in the tissue of the muscles in her arms, and that is causing significant swelling and associated pain. Of course he decided to forego that day’s scheduled chemo infusion, and he laid out a few new options.
He has always thought that PARP inhibitors would be a great option one day for Lori, and it looks like that time has arrived. This is a protein inhibitor which is working very well for ovarian and breast cancers. It is also specific to people with the BRCA1 mutation (which Lori carries). The idea is basically that there is a mutation which is causing cells to become faulty but then instead of dying off like they normally do for every person, these cells do not die. They continue to exist and they form tumors and hurt the body i.e. cancer. These cells need protein to survive. It’s the same protein used to help healthy cells grow. The PARP inhibitor blocks that protein from working in the body. It has worked very well in early tests against BRCA1 positive breast cancer patients. Many have experienced dramatic results. The drug’s name is currently BMN 673, and it’s a phase II trial meaning it hasn’t been FDA approved yet. It’s counterpart for ovarian cancer is already phase III and approved by the FDA for sale. I expect MBN 673 will also get FDA approval relatively soon. I’m glad that Lori gets to be a part of this trial even if it doesn’t work for her. The BRCA1 problem doesn’t end with Lori, and it feels good that her data will be used to further development of a very promising treatment option for future breast cancer patients.
She must go through a chemo detox period of 28 days before she can begin the trial, so her first day will be 5 May. It is a pill taken orally once each day. In the meantime, it’s all about pain management. She is switching pain clinics as she’s no longer happy with the IU option. We’ll find something near Dayton. We’re still staying with Dr S though for oncology of course.
He has been awesome for us. On Monday, he was working with us even though there was a death in his family (don’t know the relation), and his dad is very sick and likely passed away this week too. He went home to be with his family, but he conference called us the next morning to follow up with the treatment plan. He can’t afford to take any real time off because other lives depend on him regardless of what is happening in his life. He’s amazing, and we are grateful to be with him.
Lori and I will both be in NC all next week to meet the moving vans at the storage units and facilitate the packing/loading of our household goods. I plan to final out from my squadron 1 May. After that, we’ll be permanently in Dayton. The house has some issues, but we’re getting it all figured out, and I expect it will all be taken care of in a week or two at the most. Just in time for our furniture to arrive!
Continue to pray for Lori of course. The pain is more consistent now and seems to be getting worse each day. I think this trial drug will help. I’ve given up trying to predict what will happen month-to-month, but we’re excited to get into this new trial.