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Old 02-13-2015, 12:37 PM   #1
Mtngrl
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The Emperor of All Maladies

The book, The Emperor of All Maladies, is excellent, and I highly recommend it. It's extremely well written, and it reads like an adventure story.

Ken Burns is involved in a film project for PBS that will air next month. Here's the trailer. It looks awesome. http://video.pbs.org/video/2365362396/

Knowing more about cancer can help you figure out what you're up against and what might or might not help you deal with it. Unlike an infectious disease, cancer is not a foreign invader. It's our own cells misbehaving. It's normal healing and growth processes going haywire. In a very real sense, every person's cancer is as distinctive and unique as she is.
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Amy
_____________________________
4/19/11 Diagnosed invasive ductal carcinoma in left breast; 2.3 cm tumor, 1 axillary lymph node, weakly ER+, HER2+++
4/29/11 CT scan shows suspicious lesions on liver and lungs
5/17/11 liver biopsy
5/24/11 liver met confirmed--Stage IV at diagnosis
5/27/11 Begin weekly Taxol & Herceptin for 3 months (standard of care at the time of my DX)
7/18/11 Switch to weekly Abraxane & Herceptin due to Taxol allergy
8/29/11 CT scan shows no new lesions & old lesions shrinking
9/27/11 Finish Abraxane. Start Herceptin every 3 weeks. Begin taking Arimidex
10/17/11--Brain MRI--No Brain mets
12/5/11 PET scan--Almost NED
5/15/12 PET scan shows progression-breast/chest/spine (one vertebra)
5/22/12 Stop taking Arimidex; stay on Herceptin
6/11/12 Started Tykerb and Herceptin on clinical trial (w/no chemo)
9/24/12 CT scan--No new mets. Everything stable.
3/11/13 CT Scan--two small new possible mets and odd looking area in left lung getting larger.
4/2/13--Biopsy of suspicious area in lower left lung. Mets to lung confirmed.
4/30/13 Begin Kadcyla/TDM-1
8/16/13 PET scan "mixed," with some areas of increased uptake, but also some definite improvement, so I'll stay on TDM-1/Kadcyla.
11/11/13 Finally get hormone receptor results from lung biopsy of 4/2/13. My cancer is no longer ER positive.
11/13/13 PET scan mixed results again. We're calling it "stable." Problems breathing on exertion.
2/18/14 PET scan shows a new lesion and newly active lymph node in chest, other progression. Bye bye TDM-1.
2/28/14 Begin Herceptin/Perjeta every 3 weeks.
6/8/14 PET "mixed," with no new lesions, and everything but lower lungs improving. My breathing is better.
8/18/14 PET "mixed" again. Upper lungs & one spine met stable, lower lungs less FDG avid, original tumor more avid, one lymph node in mediastinum more avid.
9/1/14 Begin taking Xeloda one week on, one week off. Will also stay on Herceptin and Perjeta every three weeks.
12/11/14 PET Scan--no new lesions, and everything looks better than it did.
3/20/15 PET Scan--no new lesions, but lower lung lesions larger and a bit more avid.
4/13/15 Increasing Xeloda dose to 10 days on, one week off.
7/1/15 Scan "mixed" again, but suggests continuing progression. Stop Xeloda. Substitute Abraxane every 3 weeks starting 7/13.
10/28/15 PET scan shows dramatic improvement everywhere. All lesions except lower lungs have resolved; lower lungs noticeably improved.
12/18/15 Last Abraxane. Continue on Herceptin and Perjeta alone beginning 1/8/16.
1/27/16 PET scan shows cancer is stable.
5/11/16 PET scan shows uptake in some areas that were resolved on the last two scans.
6/3/16 Begin Kadcyla and Tykerb combination
6/5 - 6/23 Horrible diarrhea from K&T together. Got pneumonia.
7/15/16 Begin Kadcyla only every 3 weeks.
9/6/16 Begin radiation therapy on right lung lesion that caused the pneumonia.
10/3/16 Last of 12 radiation treatments to right lung.
11/4/16 Huffing and puffing, low O2, high heart rate, on tiniest bit of exertion. Diagnosed as radiation pneumonitis. Treated with Prednisone.
11/11/16 PET scan shows significant improvement to radiated part of right lung BUT a bunch of new lung lesions, and the bone met is getting worse.
11/22/16 Begin Eribulin and Herceptin. H every 3 weeks. E two weeks on, one week off.
3/6/17 Scan shows progression in lungs. Bone met a little better.
3/23/17 Lung biopsy. Tumor sampled is ER-, PR+ (5%), HER2+++. Getting Herceptin and Perjeta as a maintenance treatment.
5/31/17 Port placement
6/1/17 Start Navelbine & Tykerb
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:28 AM   #2
linzer
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Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

I'm extremely excited about this film. I read the book this last summer while sitting for tx at Dana Farber. I cannot wait to see what Ken Burns does with the material. Important stuff that we should all pay close attention to. Thanks for sharing.
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---------------
5/15/14 Dx IDC, right breast, 2 cm with 3 cm lymph node ER/PR- Her2+

6/11/14 Taxol / Herceptin / Perjeta

9/17/14 Lumpectomy, axillary lymph node dissection 3/9 nodes showed previous involvement but all clear due to THP!!

9/24/14 NED

10/8/14 AC x 4

12/16/14 rads x 20 WBRT only
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:00 AM   #3
Catherine
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Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

Just watched th trailer on my local PBS station from Amy's link. Ken Burn's mother died from cancer when he was only 11. Watch the trailer and get ready for the spring 2015 airing on your local Pbs station. Thanks for posting Amy. I loved the doctor who talked about Hope!
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Found my own lump in the shower
April 06 at the age of 58
Stage IIB, ER- PR- HER2+++ multi focal tumors, largest 2.3cm
Chemo first: AC/Taxol over 16 weeks
Bilateral mastectomy Sep 06
33 rads after the surgery
1 year of Herceptin completed Dec 07
12 years and no recurrence as of April 2018
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:55 AM   #4
thinkpositive
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Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

Just ordered the book from Amazon. Cant wait to read it. Thanks!
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8/2013 Diagnosed IDC Left Breast ER-/PR-/HER2+ Stage 3C, DCIS ER+/PR+/HER2- Right Breast (54 yr)
8/2013 PET/CT scan shows mass in uterues and suprclavicular nodes
8/20/13 Begin 6 rounds TCH chemo, Perjeta added for rounds 4-6
9/2013 After 1st round of chemo, mass in neck and breast no longer able to feel
11/2013 Hysterectomy, mass from PET/CT scan not cancer (adenomylosis)
12/2013 Finished chemo
1/2014 Double mastectomy with chest expanders
1/2014 Pathology report from surgery and SNB show complete pathological response!
3/2014 Finish IMRT radiation
8/2014 Fat transfer to radiated breast
8/2014 Completed 1 yr of Herceptin
10/2014 exchange surgery expanders removed implants placed
6/2015 3D nipple and areola tattoos
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:19 PM   #5
Pray
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Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

Thank you so much for posting!
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dx 11/12/09 IDCI
Stage 3a
ER 98% PR 80%
Her2 +3
4/12 nodes
6 rounds TCH
Herceptin 12 months 3weeks
Rad. 30 tx
Tamoxifin 6 months stopped
Arimedex stopped 9/12 (side effects)
Aromasin 10/12
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:34 AM   #6
norkdo
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Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

Thanks so much Amy!!! Going to order it now from Amazon
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fall 2008: mammo of rt breast worrisome so am asked to redo mammo and have ultrasound of rt breast.I delay it til january 2009 and the results are "no cancer in rt breast. phew."
found plum sized lump in right breast the day before my dad died: April 17th 2011. saw it in mirror, while i was wearing a top, examining my figure after losing 10 lbs on dr. bernstein diet.
diagnosed may 10 2011

mast/lymphectomy: june 7 2011, 5/20 cancerous nodes. stage 3a before radiation oncologist during our first mtg on july 15th says he found cancer on the lymph node of my breast bone. Now stage 3b.
her2+++, EN-, PN-. Rt brst tumors:3 at onset, 4.5 cm was the big one
chemos: 3fec's followed by 3 taxotere, total of 18 wks chemo. sept: halfway thru chemo the mastectomy scar decides to open and ooze pus. (not healed before chemo) eventually with canasten powder sent by friend in ny (illegal in canada) it heals.
radiations:although scheduled to begin 25 january 2012, I am so terrified by it (rads cause other cancers) I don't start til february, miss a bunch, reschedule them all and finally finish 35 rads mid april. reason for 7 extra atop the 28 scheduled is that when i first met my rads oncologist he said he saw a tumor on the lymph node of my breastbone. extra 7 are special kind of beam used for that lymphnode. rads onc tells me nobody ever took so long to do rads so he cannot speak for effectiveness. trials had been done only on consecutive days so......we'll see.....
10 mos of herceptin started 6 wks into chemo. canadian onc says 10 mos is just as effective as the full yr recommended by dr. slamon......so we'll see..completed july 2012.
Sept 18 2012: reconstruction and 3 drains. fails. i wear antibiotic pouch on my job for two months and have 60 consecutive days visiting a nursing centre where they apply burn victims' silver paper and clean the oozing infection daily. silicone leaks out daily. plastic surgeon in caribbean. emergency dept wont remove "his" work. He finally appears and orders me in into an emergency removal of implant. I make him promise no drains and I get my way. No infection as a result. Chest looks like a map of Brazil. Had a perfectly good left breast on Sept 17th but surgeon wanted to "save another woman an operation" ? so he had crashed two operations together on my left breast, foregoing the intermediary operation where you install an expander. the first surgeon a year earlier had flat out refused to waste five hours on his feet taking both boobs. flat out refusal. between the canadian health system saving money and both these asses, I got screwed. who knows when i can next get enough time off work (i work for myself and have no substitute when my husband is on contract) to get boobs again. arrrgh.


I have a blog where I document this trip and vent.
www.nora'scancerblog.blogspot.com . I stopped the blog before radiation. I think the steroids made me more angry and depressed and i just hated reading it anymore
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:46 AM   #7
Dakini52
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Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

Thanks Amy. I watched the trailer and am looking forward to seeing the movie on PBS.
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Diagnosed June, 2006 HER2+++, ER- PR-, Grade 3, Stage IIB. Modified radical mastectomy, radiation, chemo, Herceptin, Tykerb 1 year. [*]In remission until 2/2010. Small tumor detected on chest wall during routine scan. 2/2010 surgery to remove tumor, started Herceptin/Tykerb, follow up radiation. [*]12/26/2010 - Off Tykerb due to allergic reaction[*]12/16/2014 - Have continued on Herception for almost 5 years now and remain NED. Discussion with onc re adding Perjeta to the Herceptin as another way of preventing recurrence. Still in discussion phase. 12/26/14 Onc applying for approval for Perjeta.
Perjeta approved and I received one infusion. It had an immediate impact to my lungs and I experienced difficulty breathing so.....I'm going to be sticking with just Herceptin. Still looking for a good vaccine program to enroll in.

Debbie K
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Old 02-22-2015, 12:48 PM   #8
Redwolf8812
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Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

Thanks, Amy. Just added it to some other books I'm ordering thru Amazon. Can't wait to read it!

:-) Penny
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...but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Penny

July 2010 IDC grade 3 stage 3 er-/pr-/her2+++, BRCA2
Skin mets 11/10
1/12/11 Surgery path - complete response
Rads 2/11-4/11
Liver mets 11/11 now stage IV
Xeloda & Tykerb 12/11
Allergic reaction to Tykerb 12/11
Xeloda only 12/11
Added herceptin January 2012
Progression February 2012.
Started Veliparib (parp inhibitor) trial 3/5/12.
4/30/12 Liver met shrunk in half! Praise Jesus!
6/18/12 another 25% shrinkage, down to @3x3. Thank you, God!
8/8/12 Brain MRI - clear! Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!
8/27/12 Thank You, God - another 20% decrease in liver met! Now @ 3.2x1.9.
10/5/12 stable-ish
11/21/12 allergic reaction to carboplatin
12/10/12 stable & progression
12/31/12 liver ablation
2/6/13 ablation successful but new tiny mets in liver. May or not be cancer.
Another ablation scheduled 2/28/13. Cancelled.
2/20/13 started taxotere & herceptin. Pretty toxic. Oncologist says start tdm1 4/3/13. From her lips to God's ears. Praying for no allergic reactions/adverse side effects.
3/28/13 increase in liver mets - number & size
4/3/13 started TDM1
6/25/13 Praise God! Scan shows only one viable lesion and it's smaller.
10/8/13 MRI shows 1 large and two small tumors.
10/11/13 Ablation of tumors. It's in God's Hands.
10/23/13 Jesus and TDM1
12/19/13 Started trial of palbociclib & herceptin after scan showed growth of liver tumor and a questionable spot on rib.
2/6/14 CT scan - previous suspicious spot on rib probably damage from radiation - Praise God! MRI - over 200% growth in cancer in liver.
2/19/14 started Navelbine, Perjeta, & Herceptin combo.
5/2-5/4/14 hospitalized with very high liver function numbers, plus skin and eyes are yellow, plus urine is orange. Feel ok, so doctor not sure if liver failing due to cancer, chemo, or infection. Hospital gets numbers to go down and sends me home. MRI done in hospital reveals cancer shrinking - praise God!
5/6/14 - 5/8/14 hospitalized with no white blood cell count. Released when they go back up, @ 6 days after doctor gave me a neulasta shot.
5/16/14 - informed blood cultures done in hospital are back and that I contracted hepatitis e. Have to take ribavirin (anti-hep med) until liver function numbers are back to "normal" before re-starting chemo. Will probably go on veliparib and temodar this time.
5/26/14 - my birthday - GI doctor informed me that the hepatitis e was completely gone - I didn't even need the anti-viral meds! This is a miracle from God!
5/28/14 - started veliparib and temodar (compassionate use)
8/18/14 MRI shows 90% growth in liver tumors
8/20/14 start Perjeta, Herceptin, & Navelbine. Thanking & giving Glory to God for each moment.
9/22/14 - 9/24/14 Hospitalized with 102.2 fever and neutropenia
11/13/14 ER for high fever and fast heart rate. Got both down with IV antibiotic and fluids. Sent home same night. Thank You, Lord!
12/2/14 MRI shows progression in liver. Grateful to God that I still feel good.
12/11/14 Simulated SIR-spheres. Successful. Real thing (1st lobe) scheduled for the 23rd. Also starting Xeloda on 22nd for 2 weeks because it's synergistic with the spheres.
12/23/14 SIR-spheres in left lobe of liver. On Xeloda 12/22/14 - 1/4/15.
1/7/15 Receiving Perjeta & Herceptin while awaiting next course of action.
2/9/15 SIR-spheres in right lobe of liver. On Xeloda for 2 weeks (started 2/8). Still on Perjeta & Herceptin. Don't know what's next for me. :-)
3/25/15 Final read on MRI report - there are new and multiple lesions in both lobes of liver. Sigh. Praise God I've made it this far!
4/1/15 Started Gemzar & Herceptin. 1st week G&H, 2nd week G only, 3rd week off. Thank You, Lord, for this option.
4/15/15 Labcorp - liver enzymes in 200's. Appointment 4/22 with oncologist to discuss. Also, "radiation recall" in previously treated area? Very itchy. Need to discuss.
4/22/15 Enzymes came down. Received reduced dose of Gemzar only. No herceptin. Will get labs at lapcorp next two weeks since taking break for vacation purposes. Treat radiation area.
5/9/15 ER for severe abdominal pain. Constipation. Sent home with meds and advice to follow up with oncologist regarding jaundice and bilirubin.
5/11/15 Hospitalized for rising bilirubin and jaundice. CT scan reveals larger and more constricting tumors in liver.
5/13/15 Met with my oncologist. Bilirubin came down. If still down by Monday, I'll get chemo. If not, than I guess I'll see you all in Heaven. Praise God. Please pray, pray, pray.
5/18/15 Bilirubin jumped up. Trying lowered dose of Ixempra, with Herceptin. Oncologist is surprised that I'm functioning so well, given the high bilirubin. I have anywhere from 2 weeks - 2 months to live.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:35 AM   #9
Redwolf8812
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Posts: 515
Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

Got it yesterday in the mail, from Amazon. Started it - very readable, very interesting, so far. Thanks again, Amy.

:-) Penny
__________________
...but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Penny

July 2010 IDC grade 3 stage 3 er-/pr-/her2+++, BRCA2
Skin mets 11/10
1/12/11 Surgery path - complete response
Rads 2/11-4/11
Liver mets 11/11 now stage IV
Xeloda & Tykerb 12/11
Allergic reaction to Tykerb 12/11
Xeloda only 12/11
Added herceptin January 2012
Progression February 2012.
Started Veliparib (parp inhibitor) trial 3/5/12.
4/30/12 Liver met shrunk in half! Praise Jesus!
6/18/12 another 25% shrinkage, down to @3x3. Thank you, God!
8/8/12 Brain MRI - clear! Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ!
8/27/12 Thank You, God - another 20% decrease in liver met! Now @ 3.2x1.9.
10/5/12 stable-ish
11/21/12 allergic reaction to carboplatin
12/10/12 stable & progression
12/31/12 liver ablation
2/6/13 ablation successful but new tiny mets in liver. May or not be cancer.
Another ablation scheduled 2/28/13. Cancelled.
2/20/13 started taxotere & herceptin. Pretty toxic. Oncologist says start tdm1 4/3/13. From her lips to God's ears. Praying for no allergic reactions/adverse side effects.
3/28/13 increase in liver mets - number & size
4/3/13 started TDM1
6/25/13 Praise God! Scan shows only one viable lesion and it's smaller.
10/8/13 MRI shows 1 large and two small tumors.
10/11/13 Ablation of tumors. It's in God's Hands.
10/23/13 Jesus and TDM1
12/19/13 Started trial of palbociclib & herceptin after scan showed growth of liver tumor and a questionable spot on rib.
2/6/14 CT scan - previous suspicious spot on rib probably damage from radiation - Praise God! MRI - over 200% growth in cancer in liver.
2/19/14 started Navelbine, Perjeta, & Herceptin combo.
5/2-5/4/14 hospitalized with very high liver function numbers, plus skin and eyes are yellow, plus urine is orange. Feel ok, so doctor not sure if liver failing due to cancer, chemo, or infection. Hospital gets numbers to go down and sends me home. MRI done in hospital reveals cancer shrinking - praise God!
5/6/14 - 5/8/14 hospitalized with no white blood cell count. Released when they go back up, @ 6 days after doctor gave me a neulasta shot.
5/16/14 - informed blood cultures done in hospital are back and that I contracted hepatitis e. Have to take ribavirin (anti-hep med) until liver function numbers are back to "normal" before re-starting chemo. Will probably go on veliparib and temodar this time.
5/26/14 - my birthday - GI doctor informed me that the hepatitis e was completely gone - I didn't even need the anti-viral meds! This is a miracle from God!
5/28/14 - started veliparib and temodar (compassionate use)
8/18/14 MRI shows 90% growth in liver tumors
8/20/14 start Perjeta, Herceptin, & Navelbine. Thanking & giving Glory to God for each moment.
9/22/14 - 9/24/14 Hospitalized with 102.2 fever and neutropenia
11/13/14 ER for high fever and fast heart rate. Got both down with IV antibiotic and fluids. Sent home same night. Thank You, Lord!
12/2/14 MRI shows progression in liver. Grateful to God that I still feel good.
12/11/14 Simulated SIR-spheres. Successful. Real thing (1st lobe) scheduled for the 23rd. Also starting Xeloda on 22nd for 2 weeks because it's synergistic with the spheres.
12/23/14 SIR-spheres in left lobe of liver. On Xeloda 12/22/14 - 1/4/15.
1/7/15 Receiving Perjeta & Herceptin while awaiting next course of action.
2/9/15 SIR-spheres in right lobe of liver. On Xeloda for 2 weeks (started 2/8). Still on Perjeta & Herceptin. Don't know what's next for me. :-)
3/25/15 Final read on MRI report - there are new and multiple lesions in both lobes of liver. Sigh. Praise God I've made it this far!
4/1/15 Started Gemzar & Herceptin. 1st week G&H, 2nd week G only, 3rd week off. Thank You, Lord, for this option.
4/15/15 Labcorp - liver enzymes in 200's. Appointment 4/22 with oncologist to discuss. Also, "radiation recall" in previously treated area? Very itchy. Need to discuss.
4/22/15 Enzymes came down. Received reduced dose of Gemzar only. No herceptin. Will get labs at lapcorp next two weeks since taking break for vacation purposes. Treat radiation area.
5/9/15 ER for severe abdominal pain. Constipation. Sent home with meds and advice to follow up with oncologist regarding jaundice and bilirubin.
5/11/15 Hospitalized for rising bilirubin and jaundice. CT scan reveals larger and more constricting tumors in liver.
5/13/15 Met with my oncologist. Bilirubin came down. If still down by Monday, I'll get chemo. If not, than I guess I'll see you all in Heaven. Praise God. Please pray, pray, pray.
5/18/15 Bilirubin jumped up. Trying lowered dose of Ixempra, with Herceptin. Oncologist is surprised that I'm functioning so well, given the high bilirubin. I have anywhere from 2 weeks - 2 months to live.
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Old 02-28-2015, 10:16 PM   #10
3twins
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Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

Thanks for posting. I read The Emperor of All Maladies not long after I was diagnosed and found it really helped me to understand what was happening. It is excellent! I didn't know Ken Burns was doing a PBS special on the subject. Thank you for sharing.
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DX 5/17/10 IDC & DCIS
BMX 6/3/10-Stage 1, 0/2 nodes
ER+/PR-, Her2+
Chemo 7/8/10-10/21/10
FEC X 3, T X 3, Herceptin weekly for 9wks
Start Arimidex for 5 yrs-11/22/10
12/16/10 NED!!!!!
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:04 AM   #11
Mtngrl
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Posts: 1,427
Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

I should probably add that not everyone wants so much information. A dear friend who had leukemia three times (and is still in remission after the 2009 bout with it) rebuffed my suggestion that he read it. He said he just picks great doctors and does what they tell him to do. That's OK. We all have our own coping styles.
__________________
Amy
_____________________________
4/19/11 Diagnosed invasive ductal carcinoma in left breast; 2.3 cm tumor, 1 axillary lymph node, weakly ER+, HER2+++
4/29/11 CT scan shows suspicious lesions on liver and lungs
5/17/11 liver biopsy
5/24/11 liver met confirmed--Stage IV at diagnosis
5/27/11 Begin weekly Taxol & Herceptin for 3 months (standard of care at the time of my DX)
7/18/11 Switch to weekly Abraxane & Herceptin due to Taxol allergy
8/29/11 CT scan shows no new lesions & old lesions shrinking
9/27/11 Finish Abraxane. Start Herceptin every 3 weeks. Begin taking Arimidex
10/17/11--Brain MRI--No Brain mets
12/5/11 PET scan--Almost NED
5/15/12 PET scan shows progression-breast/chest/spine (one vertebra)
5/22/12 Stop taking Arimidex; stay on Herceptin
6/11/12 Started Tykerb and Herceptin on clinical trial (w/no chemo)
9/24/12 CT scan--No new mets. Everything stable.
3/11/13 CT Scan--two small new possible mets and odd looking area in left lung getting larger.
4/2/13--Biopsy of suspicious area in lower left lung. Mets to lung confirmed.
4/30/13 Begin Kadcyla/TDM-1
8/16/13 PET scan "mixed," with some areas of increased uptake, but also some definite improvement, so I'll stay on TDM-1/Kadcyla.
11/11/13 Finally get hormone receptor results from lung biopsy of 4/2/13. My cancer is no longer ER positive.
11/13/13 PET scan mixed results again. We're calling it "stable." Problems breathing on exertion.
2/18/14 PET scan shows a new lesion and newly active lymph node in chest, other progression. Bye bye TDM-1.
2/28/14 Begin Herceptin/Perjeta every 3 weeks.
6/8/14 PET "mixed," with no new lesions, and everything but lower lungs improving. My breathing is better.
8/18/14 PET "mixed" again. Upper lungs & one spine met stable, lower lungs less FDG avid, original tumor more avid, one lymph node in mediastinum more avid.
9/1/14 Begin taking Xeloda one week on, one week off. Will also stay on Herceptin and Perjeta every three weeks.
12/11/14 PET Scan--no new lesions, and everything looks better than it did.
3/20/15 PET Scan--no new lesions, but lower lung lesions larger and a bit more avid.
4/13/15 Increasing Xeloda dose to 10 days on, one week off.
7/1/15 Scan "mixed" again, but suggests continuing progression. Stop Xeloda. Substitute Abraxane every 3 weeks starting 7/13.
10/28/15 PET scan shows dramatic improvement everywhere. All lesions except lower lungs have resolved; lower lungs noticeably improved.
12/18/15 Last Abraxane. Continue on Herceptin and Perjeta alone beginning 1/8/16.
1/27/16 PET scan shows cancer is stable.
5/11/16 PET scan shows uptake in some areas that were resolved on the last two scans.
6/3/16 Begin Kadcyla and Tykerb combination
6/5 - 6/23 Horrible diarrhea from K&T together. Got pneumonia.
7/15/16 Begin Kadcyla only every 3 weeks.
9/6/16 Begin radiation therapy on right lung lesion that caused the pneumonia.
10/3/16 Last of 12 radiation treatments to right lung.
11/4/16 Huffing and puffing, low O2, high heart rate, on tiniest bit of exertion. Diagnosed as radiation pneumonitis. Treated with Prednisone.
11/11/16 PET scan shows significant improvement to radiated part of right lung BUT a bunch of new lung lesions, and the bone met is getting worse.
11/22/16 Begin Eribulin and Herceptin. H every 3 weeks. E two weeks on, one week off.
3/6/17 Scan shows progression in lungs. Bone met a little better.
3/23/17 Lung biopsy. Tumor sampled is ER-, PR+ (5%), HER2+++. Getting Herceptin and Perjeta as a maintenance treatment.
5/31/17 Port placement
6/1/17 Start Navelbine & Tykerb
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:01 AM   #12
Hopeful
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Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

I have wanted to read the book since it was published. I had my SO download the ebook for me so that I could read it on two long plane rides last week. I am 75% through it, and it is a page turner! Very well written, and the author obviously worked with a great editor because all of the material is so well arranged. I plan to finish it prior to watching the documentary on PBS.

Hopeful
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Old 03-30-2015, 05:14 PM   #13
Mtngrl
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Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

This is airing tonight, or you can watch it online at your convenience. http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/cancer-e...es/when-watch/
__________________
Amy
_____________________________
4/19/11 Diagnosed invasive ductal carcinoma in left breast; 2.3 cm tumor, 1 axillary lymph node, weakly ER+, HER2+++
4/29/11 CT scan shows suspicious lesions on liver and lungs
5/17/11 liver biopsy
5/24/11 liver met confirmed--Stage IV at diagnosis
5/27/11 Begin weekly Taxol & Herceptin for 3 months (standard of care at the time of my DX)
7/18/11 Switch to weekly Abraxane & Herceptin due to Taxol allergy
8/29/11 CT scan shows no new lesions & old lesions shrinking
9/27/11 Finish Abraxane. Start Herceptin every 3 weeks. Begin taking Arimidex
10/17/11--Brain MRI--No Brain mets
12/5/11 PET scan--Almost NED
5/15/12 PET scan shows progression-breast/chest/spine (one vertebra)
5/22/12 Stop taking Arimidex; stay on Herceptin
6/11/12 Started Tykerb and Herceptin on clinical trial (w/no chemo)
9/24/12 CT scan--No new mets. Everything stable.
3/11/13 CT Scan--two small new possible mets and odd looking area in left lung getting larger.
4/2/13--Biopsy of suspicious area in lower left lung. Mets to lung confirmed.
4/30/13 Begin Kadcyla/TDM-1
8/16/13 PET scan "mixed," with some areas of increased uptake, but also some definite improvement, so I'll stay on TDM-1/Kadcyla.
11/11/13 Finally get hormone receptor results from lung biopsy of 4/2/13. My cancer is no longer ER positive.
11/13/13 PET scan mixed results again. We're calling it "stable." Problems breathing on exertion.
2/18/14 PET scan shows a new lesion and newly active lymph node in chest, other progression. Bye bye TDM-1.
2/28/14 Begin Herceptin/Perjeta every 3 weeks.
6/8/14 PET "mixed," with no new lesions, and everything but lower lungs improving. My breathing is better.
8/18/14 PET "mixed" again. Upper lungs & one spine met stable, lower lungs less FDG avid, original tumor more avid, one lymph node in mediastinum more avid.
9/1/14 Begin taking Xeloda one week on, one week off. Will also stay on Herceptin and Perjeta every three weeks.
12/11/14 PET Scan--no new lesions, and everything looks better than it did.
3/20/15 PET Scan--no new lesions, but lower lung lesions larger and a bit more avid.
4/13/15 Increasing Xeloda dose to 10 days on, one week off.
7/1/15 Scan "mixed" again, but suggests continuing progression. Stop Xeloda. Substitute Abraxane every 3 weeks starting 7/13.
10/28/15 PET scan shows dramatic improvement everywhere. All lesions except lower lungs have resolved; lower lungs noticeably improved.
12/18/15 Last Abraxane. Continue on Herceptin and Perjeta alone beginning 1/8/16.
1/27/16 PET scan shows cancer is stable.
5/11/16 PET scan shows uptake in some areas that were resolved on the last two scans.
6/3/16 Begin Kadcyla and Tykerb combination
6/5 - 6/23 Horrible diarrhea from K&T together. Got pneumonia.
7/15/16 Begin Kadcyla only every 3 weeks.
9/6/16 Begin radiation therapy on right lung lesion that caused the pneumonia.
10/3/16 Last of 12 radiation treatments to right lung.
11/4/16 Huffing and puffing, low O2, high heart rate, on tiniest bit of exertion. Diagnosed as radiation pneumonitis. Treated with Prednisone.
11/11/16 PET scan shows significant improvement to radiated part of right lung BUT a bunch of new lung lesions, and the bone met is getting worse.
11/22/16 Begin Eribulin and Herceptin. H every 3 weeks. E two weeks on, one week off.
3/6/17 Scan shows progression in lungs. Bone met a little better.
3/23/17 Lung biopsy. Tumor sampled is ER-, PR+ (5%), HER2+++. Getting Herceptin and Perjeta as a maintenance treatment.
5/31/17 Port placement
6/1/17 Start Navelbine & Tykerb
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:11 PM   #14
StephN
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Wink Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

Hi Amy and everyone,

I watched the PBS version last night and have it on right NOW! Last night with the research toward Herceptin and trials was sort of like my life passing before my very eyes!

Hope more of you get a chance to see it, as now it is talking about more current breakthroughs.
__________________
"When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest." H.D. Thoreau
Live in the moment.

MY STORY SO FAR ~~~~
Found suspicious lump 9/2000
Lumpectomy, then node dissection and port placement
Stage IIB, 8 pos nodes of 18, Grade 3, ER & PR -
Adriamycin 12 weekly, taxotere 4 rounds
36 rads - very little burning
3 mos after rads liver full of tumors, Stage IV Jan 2002, one spot on sternum
Weekly Taxol, Navelbine, Herceptin for 27 rounds to NED!
2003 & 2004 no active disease - 3 weekly Herceptin + Zometa
Jan 2005 two mets to brain - Gamma Knife on Jan 18
All clear until treated cerebellum spot showing activity on Jan 2006 brain MRI & brain PET
Brain surgery on Feb 9, 2006 - no cancer, 100% radiation necrosis - tumor was still dying
Continue as NED while on Herceptin & quarterly Zometa
Fall-2006 - off Zometa - watching one small brain spot (scar?)
2007 - spot/scar in brain stable - finished anticoagulation therapy for clot along my port-a-catheter - 3 angioplasties to unblock vena cava
2008 - Brain and body still NED! Port removed and scans in Dec.
Dec 2008 - stop Herceptin - Vaccine Trial at U of W begun in Oct. of 2011
STILL NED everywhere in Feb 2014 - on wing & prayer
7/14 - Started twice yearly Zometa for my bones
Jan. 2015 checkup still shows NED
2015 Neuropathy in feet - otherwise all OK - still NED.
Same news for 2016 and all of 2017.
Nov of 2017 - had small skin cancer removed from my face. Will have Zometa end of Jan. 2018.
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Old 04-02-2015, 11:48 AM   #15
AlaskaAngel
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Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

I watched it and enjoyed seeing and listening to and learning from all the talented people who have been key in making a difference from the past and present (including Ken Burns and his people, and all the PBS people involved).

But I was disappointed that after over a decade of trastuzumab usage for early stage HER2 positive bc, I didn't understand why targeted treatment like trastuzumab does not work for all HER2 positive patients, or why there are strongly HER2 positive patients who never received it and yet have not recurred many years later. I missed a brief part of the presentation, and wonder if anyone else could explain what trials have been done or are in progress to find out to try to limit the overuse of the treatment?

A.A.

P.S. The portion I missed was right when they started talking about pathways and I think they did a quick image of connecting various dots with various colors. Where I missed making full sense of that image was because my mind went wandering off on its own in trying to evaluate the benefit of targeted drugs if cancers just generally mutate anyway.

Then I started wondering if maybe my cancer had mutated and whether that is what actually ended up saving my bacon rather than cooking it, since I never had trastuzumab yet I had a very aggressive stage 1 HER2 breast cancer. And after that bit of wandering, I started wondering just what role the chemo might have really played in my cancer... and whether it wasn't the killing of cancer cells by chemo that did the trick but rather perhaps it was the chemo that caused the mutation....

I'm sorry. I will watch the rest of the 3rd program over to see what I missed.
__________________
Dx 2002 age 51
bc for granny, aunt, cousin, sister, mother.
ER+/PR+/HER2+++, grade 3
IDC 1.9 cm, some DCIS, Stage 1, Grade 3
Lumpectomy, CAFx6 (no blood boosters), IMRT rads, 1 3/4 yr tamoxifen
Rads necrosis
BRCA 1 & 2 negative
Trials: Early detection OVCA; 2004 low-dose testosterone for bc survivors
Diet: Primarily vegetarian organic; metformin (no diabetes), vitamin D3
Exercise: 7 days a week, 1 hr/day
No trastuzumab, no taxane, no AI
NED

Last edited by AlaskaAngel; 04-02-2015 at 01:55 PM.. Reason: what I missed and why
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:32 PM   #16
Catherine
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Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

I taped the programs. Have one more to watch. Thank goodness for all the doctors and scientists who work so hard to solve the cancer problem. Ken Burns made good viewing once again.
__________________
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Found my own lump in the shower
April 06 at the age of 58
Stage IIB, ER- PR- HER2+++ multi focal tumors, largest 2.3cm
Chemo first: AC/Taxol over 16 weeks
Bilateral mastectomy Sep 06
33 rads after the surgery
1 year of Herceptin completed Dec 07
12 years and no recurrence as of April 2018
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:49 PM   #17
Mtngrl
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Posts: 1,427
Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

AA,

They didn't really address Herceptin resistance, or say anyone's done trials to figure out who benefits. Or anyway I'm pretty sure they didn't.

They did say that after the initial excitement over Gleevec and Herceptin there have been many disappointments. Then they moved on to immune therapy.
__________________
Amy
_____________________________
4/19/11 Diagnosed invasive ductal carcinoma in left breast; 2.3 cm tumor, 1 axillary lymph node, weakly ER+, HER2+++
4/29/11 CT scan shows suspicious lesions on liver and lungs
5/17/11 liver biopsy
5/24/11 liver met confirmed--Stage IV at diagnosis
5/27/11 Begin weekly Taxol & Herceptin for 3 months (standard of care at the time of my DX)
7/18/11 Switch to weekly Abraxane & Herceptin due to Taxol allergy
8/29/11 CT scan shows no new lesions & old lesions shrinking
9/27/11 Finish Abraxane. Start Herceptin every 3 weeks. Begin taking Arimidex
10/17/11--Brain MRI--No Brain mets
12/5/11 PET scan--Almost NED
5/15/12 PET scan shows progression-breast/chest/spine (one vertebra)
5/22/12 Stop taking Arimidex; stay on Herceptin
6/11/12 Started Tykerb and Herceptin on clinical trial (w/no chemo)
9/24/12 CT scan--No new mets. Everything stable.
3/11/13 CT Scan--two small new possible mets and odd looking area in left lung getting larger.
4/2/13--Biopsy of suspicious area in lower left lung. Mets to lung confirmed.
4/30/13 Begin Kadcyla/TDM-1
8/16/13 PET scan "mixed," with some areas of increased uptake, but also some definite improvement, so I'll stay on TDM-1/Kadcyla.
11/11/13 Finally get hormone receptor results from lung biopsy of 4/2/13. My cancer is no longer ER positive.
11/13/13 PET scan mixed results again. We're calling it "stable." Problems breathing on exertion.
2/18/14 PET scan shows a new lesion and newly active lymph node in chest, other progression. Bye bye TDM-1.
2/28/14 Begin Herceptin/Perjeta every 3 weeks.
6/8/14 PET "mixed," with no new lesions, and everything but lower lungs improving. My breathing is better.
8/18/14 PET "mixed" again. Upper lungs & one spine met stable, lower lungs less FDG avid, original tumor more avid, one lymph node in mediastinum more avid.
9/1/14 Begin taking Xeloda one week on, one week off. Will also stay on Herceptin and Perjeta every three weeks.
12/11/14 PET Scan--no new lesions, and everything looks better than it did.
3/20/15 PET Scan--no new lesions, but lower lung lesions larger and a bit more avid.
4/13/15 Increasing Xeloda dose to 10 days on, one week off.
7/1/15 Scan "mixed" again, but suggests continuing progression. Stop Xeloda. Substitute Abraxane every 3 weeks starting 7/13.
10/28/15 PET scan shows dramatic improvement everywhere. All lesions except lower lungs have resolved; lower lungs noticeably improved.
12/18/15 Last Abraxane. Continue on Herceptin and Perjeta alone beginning 1/8/16.
1/27/16 PET scan shows cancer is stable.
5/11/16 PET scan shows uptake in some areas that were resolved on the last two scans.
6/3/16 Begin Kadcyla and Tykerb combination
6/5 - 6/23 Horrible diarrhea from K&T together. Got pneumonia.
7/15/16 Begin Kadcyla only every 3 weeks.
9/6/16 Begin radiation therapy on right lung lesion that caused the pneumonia.
10/3/16 Last of 12 radiation treatments to right lung.
11/4/16 Huffing and puffing, low O2, high heart rate, on tiniest bit of exertion. Diagnosed as radiation pneumonitis. Treated with Prednisone.
11/11/16 PET scan shows significant improvement to radiated part of right lung BUT a bunch of new lung lesions, and the bone met is getting worse.
11/22/16 Begin Eribulin and Herceptin. H every 3 weeks. E two weeks on, one week off.
3/6/17 Scan shows progression in lungs. Bone met a little better.
3/23/17 Lung biopsy. Tumor sampled is ER-, PR+ (5%), HER2+++. Getting Herceptin and Perjeta as a maintenance treatment.
5/31/17 Port placement
6/1/17 Start Navelbine & Tykerb
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:35 PM   #18
AlaskaAngel
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Posts: 2,012
Re: The Emperor of All Maladies

Thanks, Amy. We especially look for miracles, and the program presented some understanding about the disappointments as well as the possibilities. I understand more of it than I did the first time I watched it.

A.A.
__________________
Dx 2002 age 51
bc for granny, aunt, cousin, sister, mother.
ER+/PR+/HER2+++, grade 3
IDC 1.9 cm, some DCIS, Stage 1, Grade 3
Lumpectomy, CAFx6 (no blood boosters), IMRT rads, 1 3/4 yr tamoxifen
Rads necrosis
BRCA 1 & 2 negative
Trials: Early detection OVCA; 2004 low-dose testosterone for bc survivors
Diet: Primarily vegetarian organic; metformin (no diabetes), vitamin D3
Exercise: 7 days a week, 1 hr/day
No trastuzumab, no taxane, no AI
NED
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