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Old 01-31-2018, 03:18 PM   #1
Colleen
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Location: Monarch Beach, CA
Posts: 87
When to consider ending treatment?

As a stage IV HER2+ cancer thriver for the past four+ years I wonder when treatment should end, if ever? I have been in a full remission for four years but continue herceptin and perjeta every three weeks with no end in sight. As many of us know all too well the copays, deductibles, etc restart the 1st of the year. The costs are becoming unmanageable despite changing insurance. I know there are stage IV thrivers amongst us here that are no longer in cancer treatment but are most likely being closely monitored. Any thoughts?
__________________
*October 2013 mammogram suspicious lump right breast
*Oct. 2013 Breast MRI reveals 2.5 cm tumor right breast 6-7 nodes positive
*Nov 2, 2013 PET/CT tumor right breast, 6-7 nodes include right axilla and one above clavicle, 3.5 cm lesion on dome of liver
*Nov 4, 2013 meet oncologist: schedule port placement
*Nov 5, 2013 baseline echo 65%
*Nov 13, 2013 start THP six cycles every 21 days
*Nov 20, 2013 blood counts now coming back quickly start neulasta following next treatment, no pain and it worked!
*Jan 19, 2014 syncope, ambulance ride to hospital, cracked a tooth and chipped three, six stitches in chin, CT scan shows brain is ok but am required to follow up with neurologist.
*Jan 28, 2014 PET/CT shows great response to THP
*Jan 28, 2013 echo, all is good 60-65%
*Feb 2014 brain MRI, no missing parts and no extra parts, all clear
*Feb 27, 2014 last treatment with taxotere
*Apr 22, 2014 PET/CT shows complete pathological response to THP amen!
*Apr 22, 2013 echo 60%
*continue vitamin H and P every 21 days until...eternity?
*May 2014 emotional melt down, demand port be removed.
*May 22 2014, biopsy of original tumor rt. breast, no cancer cells in 8 tissue samples, amen
*June 2, 2014 Port removed, happy dance! Just couldn't tolerate the port any longer; it never worked properly and was extremely uncomfortable
*July 24, 2014 echo 60%
*August 28, 2014 PET/CT all clear NED
*Oct 29, 2014 echo 65%
*Feb 4, 2015 PET/CT NED!!!
*Feb 4, 2015 Echo 65-70%
*May 19, 2015 mammogram all clear
*May 19, 2015 Brain MRI all clear!
*August 18, 2015 PET/CT NED!!! amen!
*March 8, 2016 CT w/contrast NED
*March 10, 2016 Echo normal
*June 2016 Echo normal
*September 7, 2016 CT scan w/contrast NED
*September 8, 2016 Echo normal
* still receiving infusions every 21 days of Perjeta and Herceptin with no end in sight......
*March 2017 CT scan NED and echo normal
*May 2017 mammogram all clear!
*November 2017 CT scan NED and echo normal
*May 2018 echo normal
*December 2018 ct scan with contrast and nasty drink-all clear!


"Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age."
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Old 02-01-2018, 02:09 AM   #2
Pamelamary
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Posts: 483
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

Colleen, I feel for you - here in Australia, Herceptin is provided at no cost so I am nearly 6 years on. System isn't perfect by any means though as I can't get free access to Perjeta. Sometimes I wonder if it might be possible to stop completely. So sick of it all! There have been threads about this and a number of women who have stopped and thrived. Will be interested in what you can find out.
Best wishes... Pam
__________________
Diagnosed 2004: Lumpectomy - 2 tumours, both grade 1 infiltrating duct carcinoma, about 12mm. ER+,
C-erbB-2 status 3+.
Clear margins, no nodal involvement.
Radiotherapy, i year Tamoxifen, 4 years Arimidex.
Rediagnosed 2012: Multiple bone metastases.
3/12: began on Marianne trial - T-DM1 + Pertuzamab/Placebo.
5/12:Unexpected development of numerous bilateral liver mets. Came off trial.
Started Docetaxol/ Herceptin + Zometa.
8/12:Bones stable +major regression in liver (!)
9/12:Can't take any more Docetaxol! Start on Herceptin and Tamoxifen. Cross fingers!
Changed to Denosumab.
11/12: Scan shows stable - yay!
11/13: Still stable :-) !!!
1/16: All stable, but lowered calcium, so switched to Zometa 3 monthly.
2/19: Happily still stable on Herceptin, Letrozole and 3 monthly Zometa.
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Old 02-01-2018, 07:52 AM   #3
MaineRottweilers
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Posts: 568
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

Well, PHEWWWW! When I saw the title of the post this was not the subject I expected. I am glad to read that you continue to do well. I wonder the same thing myself as I enter my third year of MBC treatment. I am so weary of the appointments, the physical fatigue, the financial drain and the emotional wear; but then I remember that it took less than a year off of Herceptin to go from "cured" to MBC and I am reminded that I had best stay on my treatment.
__________________
Tracy Arcari
___________________________________________
11/12 BSE ignored the lump for SIX months.
5/1/13 IDC ER/PR- HER2/neu+++
5/14/13 Mastectomy and SN biopsy
5/20/13 IDC Stage IIb Grade 3 Nodes 1/4 also IDC and DCIS multi focal in remaining dissected tissue.
5/30/13 MUGA and CT thorax, abdomen & pelvis, establish baseline.
6/4/13 Installed my little purple power port.
6/14/13 Chemo started TCH
6/14/13 Informed of suspicious ares on scans scheduled PET.
7/1/13 PET Scan NED!
9/27/13 FINAL CHEMO taken! ----well, maybe not.
10/15/13 Three little tattoos.
10/24/13 Radiation begins and fourth tattoo placed.
11/27/13 Perfectly radiant! Radiation completed the day before Thanksgiving and so, so much to be thankful for this year and every day hereafter.
1/2/14 Happy New Year, you have a Goiter? Muga down to 59%.
1/17/14 Hashimoto's Dz Dx'd. Now maybe I'll feel BETTER!
5/2/14 Herceptin completed! New kitten!
8/19/14 Prophylactic mastectomy (right) and PORT OUT! I'm DONE and now I really am a SURVIVOR.
2/15 Started not feeling so swell. Memory lapses and GI issues with nausea and blurry vision.
4/30/15 U/S cystic gallbladder, cyst on right ovary and mass in my uterus. GYN consult scheduled---and cancelled. I'm not ready.
5/4/15 Brain MRI clear (big sigh of relief)
7/30/15 Back Pain
8/31/15 Radiograph: compression fracture L2
9/10/15 Bone Scan positive
9/21/15 CT scan conclusive for tumor
10/1/15 CT guided biopsy & Brain to Pelvis MRI reveal additional lesions on spine C6, T10, T11 and L2 is collapsing.
10/8/15 Abbreviated pathology: new tumor(s) poorly differentiated carcinoma consistent with known breast primary.
ER-/PR+ (40%)
HER2/neu+++ Ki-67 4% Pancytokeratin AE1/3 Strong Positivity in all malignant cells.
10/13/15 Abnormal Dexa: moderate risk of fracture to both femoral head/neck R&L. Significant risk to lumbar spine.
10/14/15 Radiation consult back to the cooker.
10/20/15 MUGA 50% down from 54% after a year off Herceptin (???)
10/21/15 Kyphoplasty L2
10/22/15 Re-start Chemo: Perjeta, Herceptin & Taxotere
10/26/15 PET Scan confirms C6, T10-11, L2, new lesion noted at L4 but no visceral involvement---Happy dance!!!
10//29/15 Xgeva
10/29/15 Radiation Simulation--three new tattoos to add to my collection. Just call me Dotty.
10/30/15 CA27-29 63 U/mol (<38 U/mol)
11/3/15 First Trip to see Dr. E. Mayer at DFCI
11/4/15 Surgical consult to re-install my little purple power port.
11/9/15 Radiation treatment one of five.
11/10/15 Installed my little purple power port and not a moment too soon, took them four tries to get an IV started today.
Yes, we really are going down this road again.
12/5/15 CT for suspected pulmonary embolism demonstrates increase in T10-11 mets.
12/8/15 Bone Scan uptake at T10-11 (not seen 9/17/15) & Right 8th Rib (not evident on PET 10/26/15)
12/10/15 Consult Re: PROGRESSION. Halt THP due today. Schedule PET and order TDM1 for next week. PLAN B.
12/14/15 PET scan: NO PROGRESSION! THP is working, metabolic activity minimal. Merry Christmas to me! Sticking with PLAN A, it's working.
1/7/16 Start Taxol weekly instead of Taxotere (has been too taxing and not rebounding between txs.) Zometa instead of Xgeva.
3/28/16 CT shows new sclerotic lesions on T12, L3, L5, L6, right ilium and head of right femur. No uptake on Bone Scan (progression????)
3/31/16 Discontinue Taxol start Arimidex, still getting H&P.
6/2/16 Discontinue Arimidex and start Exemestane.
6/18/16 PET is NEAD!!
7/1/16 Discontinue Exemestane and restart Armidex (SEs)
8/29/16 CT/Bone Scan Stable (still uptake at T10-11)
10/3/16 BSO pathology negative
10/10/16 MRI: Brain clear!
10/14/16 Switched care to Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care
11/24/16 Xgeva, New MO preference to Zometa
12/12/16 CT/Bone scan Mostly stable significant uptake at L2 plan to PET
1/12/17 PET shows NEAD celebrate with a new puppy!
3/29/17 CT & BS = NEAD
7/31/17 Aetna denies access to H&P <gearing up for a fight>
8/4/17 CT& BS= STABLE
8/9/17 No treatment, Aetna still denying H&P
8/14/17 Aetna appeal approved H&P through February 2018!
2/5/18 CT & BS = STABLE

//
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:01 AM   #4
Colleen
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Location: Monarch Beach, CA
Posts: 87
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

Thank you for the responses! You have my mind beginning to turn a corner. I must find ways to keep my costs at a minimum, and that will eliminate some stress.
__________________
*October 2013 mammogram suspicious lump right breast
*Oct. 2013 Breast MRI reveals 2.5 cm tumor right breast 6-7 nodes positive
*Nov 2, 2013 PET/CT tumor right breast, 6-7 nodes include right axilla and one above clavicle, 3.5 cm lesion on dome of liver
*Nov 4, 2013 meet oncologist: schedule port placement
*Nov 5, 2013 baseline echo 65%
*Nov 13, 2013 start THP six cycles every 21 days
*Nov 20, 2013 blood counts now coming back quickly start neulasta following next treatment, no pain and it worked!
*Jan 19, 2014 syncope, ambulance ride to hospital, cracked a tooth and chipped three, six stitches in chin, CT scan shows brain is ok but am required to follow up with neurologist.
*Jan 28, 2014 PET/CT shows great response to THP
*Jan 28, 2013 echo, all is good 60-65%
*Feb 2014 brain MRI, no missing parts and no extra parts, all clear
*Feb 27, 2014 last treatment with taxotere
*Apr 22, 2014 PET/CT shows complete pathological response to THP amen!
*Apr 22, 2013 echo 60%
*continue vitamin H and P every 21 days until...eternity?
*May 2014 emotional melt down, demand port be removed.
*May 22 2014, biopsy of original tumor rt. breast, no cancer cells in 8 tissue samples, amen
*June 2, 2014 Port removed, happy dance! Just couldn't tolerate the port any longer; it never worked properly and was extremely uncomfortable
*July 24, 2014 echo 60%
*August 28, 2014 PET/CT all clear NED
*Oct 29, 2014 echo 65%
*Feb 4, 2015 PET/CT NED!!!
*Feb 4, 2015 Echo 65-70%
*May 19, 2015 mammogram all clear
*May 19, 2015 Brain MRI all clear!
*August 18, 2015 PET/CT NED!!! amen!
*March 8, 2016 CT w/contrast NED
*March 10, 2016 Echo normal
*June 2016 Echo normal
*September 7, 2016 CT scan w/contrast NED
*September 8, 2016 Echo normal
* still receiving infusions every 21 days of Perjeta and Herceptin with no end in sight......
*March 2017 CT scan NED and echo normal
*May 2017 mammogram all clear!
*November 2017 CT scan NED and echo normal
*May 2018 echo normal
*December 2018 ct scan with contrast and nasty drink-all clear!


"Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age."
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Old 02-01-2018, 08:04 PM   #5
jacqueline1102
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Posts: 177
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

Hello Colleen,

I am out 6 yrs and 4 mths from my dx of metastatic breast ca. I, too, long for when I can quit. I am grateful for LT remission status and feel the treatment fatigue as well. I have joked with my onc; if I stay in remission up to year 10 would he take me off the herceptin. He just smiles. For now I remain on good ole' Vitamin H. Luckily I am able to work FT and have decent health ins.
__________________
10/11 IBC Stage IV; 1 liver met 4.6 cm.
10/11-2/12 TCH for 6 rounds
3/12 Right MRM
5/12-7/12 33 Radiation treatments
8/1/12 Started Perjeta along with the Herceptin
10/12 Scans said NED for first time
5/15 UWSeattle Vaccine Trial 3 months
12/16 Scans still show NED. Herceptin and Perjeta continue indef.
8/17 Taken off Perjeta;staying on Herceptin. Still NEAD.
3/18 Still NEAD
8/19 Now on Subcutaneous Herceptin
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Old 02-02-2018, 10:44 PM   #6
Kim in CA
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Location: California's Gold Country
Posts: 404
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

Hi Colleen,

Just my 2 cents here, but I wish that I had never stopped my good old Vitamin H! I too was in Long term remission, and really thought perhaps I was cured. Inspired by our own Steph N. and Andi B. (and others whom I can't remember now) I decided to take a break from Herceptin.

Well, the beast came back again big time. Even with Herceptin, Taxotere, and Perjeta, and now Kadcyla, I've not been able to get to a point where my tumor markers are steadily in the normal range, like they were prior to stopping the Herceptin. I am now on the Kadcyla indefinitely, and though I've tolerated fairly well, it's certainly not as easy as the Herceptin was!

Who knows, I may have eventually recurred on just the Herceptin, but there will always be that ? in my mind.

This just goes to show you how incredibly different we all are in our response to these drugs. Like my old oncologist used to say, "we are in uncharted territory here" Sigh.....so true!
__________________
Diag. Feb 1997 4.5cm IDC <10%ER+, PR-. 5 out of 36 nodes +. Mastectomy followed by 3 rounds Adriamycin/Cytoxin.


5/1997 Hi Dose Chemo w/ Stem cell rescue. Spent 4 weeks in isolation ward. Then 6 weeks radiation.

9/2001 widespread mets to liver. 8 mos Taxotere/Herceptin brought me almost to NED. Stop Taxotere & add Femara .

11/2002 liver resection to remove spot that turned out to be necrosis. Officially NED!

7/2003 Tumor markers rising add Xeloda Disastrous reaction, 8 days hospital, but tumor markers came back to normal!

June -Dec 2004 UW Vaccine Trial.

7/2005 MRI single 11mm brain met
8/2005 Gamma Knife.

Brain MRI @3 months NED!

2006-2011 brain/body still NED

8/04/11 Taking Herceptin break, will monitor with tumor markers.

6/20/12 Tumor markers begin to rise. CA15-3 is 31.3 and Her2 Serum is at 17.1 Decide to repeat in one month.

7/23/12 CA15-3 now 49.3
Her2 Serum 26.8

8/6/12 Back on Herceptin
CA15-3 now 76
Her2 Serum now 49

11/7/12 Add weekly Taxotere for 4 cycles

2/2013 Stopped Taxotere added Perjeta. MRI shows approx. 50% reduction liver mets. CA15-3 still elevated @ 55. Will continue on just Herceptin & Perjeta.

November 2014 Continuing on Herceptin, Perjeta, and
Femara indefinitely. Guess I'm NED again, but watching those tumor markers carefully!

Dec. 2015 PET scan reveals mass in perirectal area of abdomen.biopsy confirms. Still Her2+, but no longer ER+. Bye bye Femara

Jan 2016 Begin Kadcyla

March 2016 PET scan shows tumor now barely visible, still NED everywhere else.
2016/2017 continue Kadcyla

November 2017 brain MRI reveals small focus of T2 hyperintensity with possible 4mm enhancing nodule. Short term follow up MRI suggested. Stay tuned...
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Old 02-02-2018, 11:03 PM   #7
donocco
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 464
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

This has nothing to due with breast cancer but I see an analogy in terms of stopping treatment. Im thinking of Grand Mal Epilepsy. Nowadays many cases of Epilepsy are caused by brain injuries but often the siezures are idiopathic meaning they just happen without any apparent reason. The patient is put on anticonvulsants and often the siezures are completely controlled. After a number of years of complete seizure control the doctor can very gradually reduce the anti-convulsant drugs and eventually stop them entirely.

In about 65 % of the cases the siezures dont come back but in the 35% of the cases that the seizures do come back the drugs that worked so well before dont work anywhere as well. If a patient is well controlled on meds many docs just keep the patient on the meds for life. It might be a lot safer to stay on the Herceptin. I hope this analogy makes some sense.

Paul
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:11 AM   #8
Pamelamary
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 483
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

A bit depressing though, Paul. Sometimes I feel "survivor guilt" and others, I just wish it was over - the treatment, I guess i mean. So grateful it is working and hope new advances are equally promising. Bring on ont 380? I "failed" Kadcyla on a trial in 2012, but my oncologist is prepared to give it another try if (when?) Vitamin H stops working.
Regards to all.... Pam
__________________
Diagnosed 2004: Lumpectomy - 2 tumours, both grade 1 infiltrating duct carcinoma, about 12mm. ER+,
C-erbB-2 status 3+.
Clear margins, no nodal involvement.
Radiotherapy, i year Tamoxifen, 4 years Arimidex.
Rediagnosed 2012: Multiple bone metastases.
3/12: began on Marianne trial - T-DM1 + Pertuzamab/Placebo.
5/12:Unexpected development of numerous bilateral liver mets. Came off trial.
Started Docetaxol/ Herceptin + Zometa.
8/12:Bones stable +major regression in liver (!)
9/12:Can't take any more Docetaxol! Start on Herceptin and Tamoxifen. Cross fingers!
Changed to Denosumab.
11/12: Scan shows stable - yay!
11/13: Still stable :-) !!!
1/16: All stable, but lowered calcium, so switched to Zometa 3 monthly.
2/19: Happily still stable on Herceptin, Letrozole and 3 monthly Zometa.
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Old 02-06-2018, 01:19 AM   #9
Colleen
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Location: Monarch Beach, CA
Posts: 87
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

Thank you everyone for the feedback. @paul I like the analogy it is thought provoking. Guess I will stick with my H & P for now unless I no longer have insurance or I decide to throw the towel in.
__________________
*October 2013 mammogram suspicious lump right breast
*Oct. 2013 Breast MRI reveals 2.5 cm tumor right breast 6-7 nodes positive
*Nov 2, 2013 PET/CT tumor right breast, 6-7 nodes include right axilla and one above clavicle, 3.5 cm lesion on dome of liver
*Nov 4, 2013 meet oncologist: schedule port placement
*Nov 5, 2013 baseline echo 65%
*Nov 13, 2013 start THP six cycles every 21 days
*Nov 20, 2013 blood counts now coming back quickly start neulasta following next treatment, no pain and it worked!
*Jan 19, 2014 syncope, ambulance ride to hospital, cracked a tooth and chipped three, six stitches in chin, CT scan shows brain is ok but am required to follow up with neurologist.
*Jan 28, 2014 PET/CT shows great response to THP
*Jan 28, 2013 echo, all is good 60-65%
*Feb 2014 brain MRI, no missing parts and no extra parts, all clear
*Feb 27, 2014 last treatment with taxotere
*Apr 22, 2014 PET/CT shows complete pathological response to THP amen!
*Apr 22, 2013 echo 60%
*continue vitamin H and P every 21 days until...eternity?
*May 2014 emotional melt down, demand port be removed.
*May 22 2014, biopsy of original tumor rt. breast, no cancer cells in 8 tissue samples, amen
*June 2, 2014 Port removed, happy dance! Just couldn't tolerate the port any longer; it never worked properly and was extremely uncomfortable
*July 24, 2014 echo 60%
*August 28, 2014 PET/CT all clear NED
*Oct 29, 2014 echo 65%
*Feb 4, 2015 PET/CT NED!!!
*Feb 4, 2015 Echo 65-70%
*May 19, 2015 mammogram all clear
*May 19, 2015 Brain MRI all clear!
*August 18, 2015 PET/CT NED!!! amen!
*March 8, 2016 CT w/contrast NED
*March 10, 2016 Echo normal
*June 2016 Echo normal
*September 7, 2016 CT scan w/contrast NED
*September 8, 2016 Echo normal
* still receiving infusions every 21 days of Perjeta and Herceptin with no end in sight......
*March 2017 CT scan NED and echo normal
*May 2017 mammogram all clear!
*November 2017 CT scan NED and echo normal
*May 2018 echo normal
*December 2018 ct scan with contrast and nasty drink-all clear!


"Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age."
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Old 02-06-2018, 06:43 PM   #10
SoCalGal
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Location: LA LA Land
Posts: 1,606
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

When to stop treatment? When the fat lady sings? I think for each person it is different. I was strongly considering stopping and just living and enjoying my life NOW. Instead I'm going to give Kadcyla a try, to see 1)if I can handle the 6 hour infusion without allergic reaction 2) if I can handle side effects and what that means 3) if it works.
After so many years on herceptin, it has not offered enough control of late. So buh-bye vitamin H, see ya in a slightly different form in Kadcyla aka TDM1. Thinking of Chrisy, Brenda, KDR, Sheila and the many other sisters who had a lot of fun making rap songs inspired by RUN DMC to RUN TDM1. They were such warriors and leaders when I first joined this board, inspirers and they have all been so much in my mind as I contemplate this next step. I've had a faux stroke all week from nerves, and so it goes and goes...Monday TDM1 #1 for me!! COLLEEN, I think you will know when you know. Keep fighting!! xoxo
__________________
1996 cancer WTF?! 1.3 cm lumpectomy Er/Pr neg. Her2+ (20nodes NEGATIVE) did CMF + rads. NED.
2002 recurrence. Bilateral mastectomy w/TFL autologous recon. Then ACx2. Skin lymphatic rash. Taxotere w/Herceptin x4. Herceptin/Xeloda. Finally stops spreading.
2003 - Back to surgery, remove skin mets, and will have surgery one week later when pathology can confirm margins.
‘03 latisimus dorsi flap to remove skin mets. CLEAN MARGINS. Continue single agent Herceptin thru 4/04. NED.
‘04 '05 & 06 tiny recurrences - scar line. surgery to cut out. NED each time.
1/2006 Rads again, to scar line. NED.

3/07 Heartbreaking news - mets! lungs.sternum. Try Tykerb/Xeloda. Tykerb/Carbo/Gemzar. Switch Oncs.
12/07 Herceptin.Tykerb. Markers go stable.
2/8/08 gamma knife 13mm stupid brain met.
3/08 Herceptin/tykerb/avastin/zometa.
3/09 brain NED. Lungs STABLE.
4/09 attack sternum (10 daysPHOTONS.5 days ELECTRONS)
9/09 MARKERS normal!
3/10 PET/CT=manubrium intensely metabolically active but stable. NEDhead.
Wash out 5/10 for tdm1 but 6/10 CT STABLE, PET improving. Markers normal. Brain NED. Resume just Herceptin plus ZOMETA
Dec 2010 Brain NED, lungs/sternum stable. markers normal.
MAR 2011 stop Herceptin/allergy! Go back on Tykerb and switch to Xgeva.
May-Aug 2011 Tykerb Herceptin Xgeva.
Sept 2011 Tykerb, Herceptin, Zometa, Avastin.
April 2012 sketchy drug trial in NYC. 6 weeks later I’m NED!
OCT 2012 PET/CT shows a bunch of freakin’ progression. Back to LA and Herceptin.avastin.zometa.
12/20/12 add in PERJETA!
March 2013 – 5 YEARS POST continue HAPZ
APRIL 2013 - 6 yrs stage 4. "FAILED" PETscan on 4/2/13
May 2013: rePetted - improvement in lungs, left adrenal stable, right 6th rib inactive, (must be PERJETA avastin) sternum and L1 fruckin'worsen. Drop zometa. ADD Xgeva. Doc says get rads consultant for L1 and possible biopsy of L1. I say, no thanks, doc. Lets see what xgeva brings to the table first. It's summer.
June-August 2013HAPX Herceptin Avastin Perjeta xgeva.
Sept - now - on chemo hold for calming tummy we hope. Markers stable for 2 months.
Nov 2013 - Herceptin-Perjeta-Avastin-Xgeva (collageneous colitis, which explains tummy probs, added Entocort)
December '13 BRAIN MRI ned in da head.
Jan 2014: CONTINUING on HAPX…
FEB 2014 PetCT clinical “impression”: 1. newbie nodule - SUV 1.5 right apical nodule, mildly hypermetabolic “suggestive” of worsening neoplastic lesion. 2. moderate worsening of the sternum – SUV 5.6 from 3.8
3. increasing sclerosis & decreasing activity of L1 met “suggests” mild healing. (SUV 9.4 v 12.1 in May ‘13)
4. scattered lung nodules, up to 5mm in size = stable, no increased activity
5. other small scattered sclerotic lesions, one in right iliac and one in thoracic vertebral body similar in appearance to L1 without PET activity and not clearly pathologic
APRIL 2014 - 6 YRS POST GAMMA ZAP, 7 YRS MBC & 18 YEARS FROM ORIGINAL DX!
October 2014: hold avastin, continue HPX
Feb 2015 Cancer you lost. NEDHEAD 7 years post gamma zap miracle, 8 years ST4, +19 yrs original diagnosis.
Continue HPX. Adding back Avastin
Nov 2015 pet/ct is mixed result. L1 SUV is worse. Continue Herceptin/avastin/xgeva. Might revisit Perjeta for L1. Meantime going for rads consult for L1
December 2015 - brain stable. Continue Herceptin, Perjeta, Avastin and xgeva.
Jan 2016: 5 days, 20 grays, Rads to L1 and continue on HAPX. I’m trying to "save" TDM1 for next line. Hope the rads work to quiet L1. Sciatic pain extraordinaire :((
Markers drop post rads.
2/24/16 HAP plus X - markers are down
SCIATIC PAIN DEAL BREAKER.
3/23/16 Laminectomy w/coflex implant L4/5. NO MORE SCIATIC PAIN!!! Healing.
APRIL 2016 - 9 YRS MBC
July 2016 - continue HAP plus Xgeva.
DEC 2016 - PETCT: mets to sternum, lungs, L1 still about the same in size and PET activity. Markers not bad. Not making changes if I don't need to. Herceptin/Perjeta/Avastin/Xgeva
APRIL 2017 10 YEARS MBC
December 2017 - Progression - gonna switch it up
FEB 2018 - Kadcyla 3 cycles ---->progression :(
MAY30th - bronchoscopy, w/foundation1 - her2 enriched
Aug 27, 2018 - start clinical trial ZW25
JAN 2019 - ZW25 seems to be keeping me stable
APRIL 2019 - ONE DOZEN YEARS LIVING METASTATIC
MAY 2019 - progression back on herceptin add xeloda
JUNE 2019 - "6 mos average survival" LMD & CNS new single brain met - one zap during 5 days true beam SBRT to cord met
10/30/19 - stable brain and cord. progression lungs and bones. washing out. applying for ds8201a w nivolumab. hope they take me.
12/27/19 - begin ds8401a w nivolumab. after 2nd cycle nodes melt away. after 3rd cycle chest scan shows Improvement, brain MRI shows improvement, resolved areas & nothing new. switch to plain ENHERTU. after 4th cycle, PETscan shows mostly resolved or improved results. Markers near normal. I'm stunned but grateful.
10/26/20 - June 2021 Tucatinib/xeloda/herceptin - stable ish.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:28 AM   #11
Kim in CA
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Location: California's Gold Country
Posts: 404
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

I will be thinking of you on Monday Fiori and hoping your first infusion goes well.

On my infusion days, I take a generic Zyrtec 2 hours before, and when I get to the infusion suite, they give me 2 decadron tabs. Then I wait a half hour before they start the infusion. Keeping fingers crossed you will get through this without a reaction (other than stomping the cancer to death!)

And Paul, I do like the analogy. It absolutely makes sense!

Kim
__________________
Diag. Feb 1997 4.5cm IDC <10%ER+, PR-. 5 out of 36 nodes +. Mastectomy followed by 3 rounds Adriamycin/Cytoxin.


5/1997 Hi Dose Chemo w/ Stem cell rescue. Spent 4 weeks in isolation ward. Then 6 weeks radiation.

9/2001 widespread mets to liver. 8 mos Taxotere/Herceptin brought me almost to NED. Stop Taxotere & add Femara .

11/2002 liver resection to remove spot that turned out to be necrosis. Officially NED!

7/2003 Tumor markers rising add Xeloda Disastrous reaction, 8 days hospital, but tumor markers came back to normal!

June -Dec 2004 UW Vaccine Trial.

7/2005 MRI single 11mm brain met
8/2005 Gamma Knife.

Brain MRI @3 months NED!

2006-2011 brain/body still NED

8/04/11 Taking Herceptin break, will monitor with tumor markers.

6/20/12 Tumor markers begin to rise. CA15-3 is 31.3 and Her2 Serum is at 17.1 Decide to repeat in one month.

7/23/12 CA15-3 now 49.3
Her2 Serum 26.8

8/6/12 Back on Herceptin
CA15-3 now 76
Her2 Serum now 49

11/7/12 Add weekly Taxotere for 4 cycles

2/2013 Stopped Taxotere added Perjeta. MRI shows approx. 50% reduction liver mets. CA15-3 still elevated @ 55. Will continue on just Herceptin & Perjeta.

November 2014 Continuing on Herceptin, Perjeta, and
Femara indefinitely. Guess I'm NED again, but watching those tumor markers carefully!

Dec. 2015 PET scan reveals mass in perirectal area of abdomen.biopsy confirms. Still Her2+, but no longer ER+. Bye bye Femara

Jan 2016 Begin Kadcyla

March 2016 PET scan shows tumor now barely visible, still NED everywhere else.
2016/2017 continue Kadcyla

November 2017 brain MRI reveals small focus of T2 hyperintensity with possible 4mm enhancing nodule. Short term follow up MRI suggested. Stay tuned...
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:41 PM   #12
ariana
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Posts: 162
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

Curios about Vitamin H. What is it and what is it used for. Anti allergy Med ??
Thanks.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:59 PM   #13
Carol Ann
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,045
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

Its just the this board's slang for Herceptin.

It took me awhile to figure it out, too!

Carol Ann
__________________
July 24, 2013: "Infected" Right Nipple and benign cyst removed, pathology report revealed Paget's, DCIS, and ILC 1.25 cm, ER+/Pro+/HER2 equivocal, Grade 2 under benign cyst, previous diagnostic mammo/ultrasound said I was perfectly healthy in both breasts.

Aug 18, 2013: MRI report says Left breast is perfectly healthy "consistent with previous studies".

Sept 2013: I insist on a bilateral mastectomy anyway. Too nervewracking to let left breast remain with higher risk after 3 cancers in right, nipple in right is already gone anyhow.

Sept 18, 2013: Bilateral mastectomy, 11 right nodes removed, ALL negative BUT -- ER+/PRO+/HER2+ tumor, 1.0 cm, Grade 2 found in a piece of "grossly unremarkable" breast tissue from prophylactic mastectomy of left breast, no nodes removed.

Oct 25, 2013: 13 left side nodes removed, ALL negative, Stage 1 across the board, NO RADS needed, YAAAAY! Port also installed.

Nov 25, 2013 Begin 6 rounds TCH.

March 10, 2014 Just finished 6th and LAST Chemo today, YAAAAAY!

March 24, 2014 Echocardiogram to make sure I'm still good for Herceptin every 3 weeks.

March 31, 2014 Echo results NORMAL, first Herceptin all by itself. Now if only my eyes would stop streaming from the Taxotere ... :)

April 21, 2014 Started Arimidex and therapy for "mild" lymphedema in left hand and arm

May 2014 Therapy completed, I have sleeves and gloves for both arms, a Flexi touch lymph pump to hook up to for an hour every day, and I've become an arm bandaging expert. :)

June 2014 Begin Fosamax to prevent osteoporosis; bone scan revealed osteopenia

Nov 17, 2014 FINAL Herceptin!

Dec 4, 2014 My right thigh muscle has been extra achy for days ... I discover a blister rash cluster on the side of my right thigh while taking a shower. Port appointment cancelled until Dec 17, my doc is working me in tomorrow afternoon to see me and the rash. My muscle at least feels less achy.

Dec 5, 2014 Yep, I have shingles. Boo! I start acyclovir and also have a prescription for a painkiller just in case for over the weekend.

Dec 17, 2014 Port is OUT!

January 2016 Shingles again and this time it started where my left breast (where the hidden HER2+++ tumor was!) used to be. My onc nurse got me a same day appointment to see my doc when I called and told her I had a rash on the site. The antiviral meds are working once again, though, so that is good news. :)
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:30 PM   #14
ariana
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 162
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

Well look what I found by accident.

https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/a...tamin-h-biotin

Small snip of article

Vitamin H (Biotin)

Overview

Vitamin H, more commonly known as biotin, is part of the B complex group of vitamins. All B vitamins help the body to convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body metabolize fats and protein. B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly.

Your body needs biotin to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Biotin is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails, and it's found in many cosmetic products for hair and skin.

Like all B vitamins, it is water soluble, meaning the body does not store it. However, bacteria in the intestine can make biotin. It is also available in small amounts in a number of foods. Biotin is also important for normal embryonic growth, making it a critical nutrient during pregnancy.

It’s rare to be deficient in biotin. Symptoms include hair loss, dry scaly skin, cracking in the corners of the mouth (called cheilitis), swollen and painful tongue that is magenta in color (glossitis), dry eyes, loss of appetite, fatigue, insomnia and depression. People who have been on parenteral nutrition -- nutrition given intravenously -- for a long period of time, those taking antiseizure medication or antibiotics long-term, and people with conditions like Crohn’s disease that make it hard to absorb nutrients, are more likely to be deficient in biotin

Peripheral Neuropathy

There have been reports that biotin supplements improve the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy for some people who developed this condition from either diabetes or ongoing dialysis for kidney failure. Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage in the feet, hands, legs, or arms. Numbness, tingling, burning or strange sensations, pain, muscle weakness and trouble walking are some symptoms. However, there aren’t any studies that evaluate whether biotin really helps treat peripheral neuropathy.

Other
At least one study suggests biotin may help restore taste among people who have lost their sense of taste. Patients supplemented their diets with 10-20 mg of biotin daily to produce the effects. More research is needed.

Reference Guide Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide Supplement Vitamin H (Biotin)
Vitamin H (Biotin)

Overview

Vitamin H, more commonly known as biotin, is part of the B complex group of vitamins. All B vitamins help the body to convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body metabolize fats and protein. B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly.

Your body needs biotin to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Biotin is often recommended for strengthening hair and nails, and it's found in many cosmetic products for hair and skin.

Like all B vitamins, it is water soluble, meaning the body does not store it. However, bacteria in the intestine can make biotin. It is also available in small amounts in a number of foods. Biotin is also important for normal embryonic growth, making it a critical nutrient during pregnancy.

It’s rare to be deficient in biotin. Symptoms include hair loss, dry scaly skin, cracking in the corners of the mouth (called cheilitis), swollen and painful tongue that is magenta in color (glossitis), dry eyes, loss of appetite, fatigue, insomnia and depression. People who have been on parenteral nutrition -- nutrition given intravenously -- for a long period of time, those taking antiseizure medication or antibiotics long-term, and people with conditions like Crohn’s disease that make it hard to absorb nutrients, are more likely to be deficient in biotin.

There are not many good quality studies evaluating biotin. Many of its proposed uses are based on weak evidence or case reports:

Hair and Nail Problems

Very weak evidence suggests that biotin supplements may improve thin, splitting, or brittle toe and fingernails, as well as hair. Biotin, combined with zinc and topical clobetasol propionate, has also been used to combat alopecia areata in both children and adults.

Cradle Cap (Seborrheic Dermatitis)

Infants who don't have enough biotin often develop this scaly scalp condition. However, no studies have shown that biotin supplements -- given in formula or breast milk -- effectively treat cradle cap. Always ask your doctor before taking any vitamin, herb, or supplement if you are breastfeeding.

Diabetes

Preliminary research indicates that a combination of biotin and chromium might improve blood sugar control in some people with type 2 diabetes, but biotin alone doesn't seem to have the same effect. More research is needed to determine whether biotin has any benefit.

Peripheral Neuropathy

There have been reports that biotin supplements improve the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy for some people who developed this condition from either diabetes or ongoing dialysis for kidney failure. Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage in the feet, hands, legs, or arms. Numbness, tingling, burning or strange sensations, pain, muscle weakness and trouble walking are some symptoms. However, there aren’t any studies that evaluate whether biotin really helps treat peripheral neuropathy.

Other
At least one study suggests biotin may help restore taste among people who have lost their sense of taste. Patients supplemented their diets with 10-20 mg of biotin daily to produce the effects. More research is needed.

Dietary Sources

Biotin can be found in brewer's yeast; cooked eggs, especially egg yolk; sardines; nuts (almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts) and nut butters; soybeans; other legumes (beans, blackeye peas); whole grains; cauliflower; bananas; and mushrooms.

Raw egg whites contain a protein called Avidin that interferes with the body's absorption of biotin.

Food-processing techniques can destroy biotin. Less-processed versions of the foods listed above contain more biotin.

Available Forms

Biotin is available in multivitamins and B-vitamin complexes, and as individual supplements.

Standard preparations are available in 10 mcg, 50 mcg, and 100 mcg tablets and contain either simple biotin or a complex with brewer's yeast.

How to Take It

As with all supplements, check with a health care provider before giving biotin to a child.

Adequate daily intakes for biotin from food, according to the National Academy of Sciences, are listed below.

Pediatric

Infants birth - 6 months: 5 mcg
Infants 7 - 12 months: 6 mcg
Children 1 - 3 years: 8 mcg
Children 4 - 8 years: 12 mcg
Children 9 - 13 years: 20 mcg
Adolescents 14 - 18 years: 25 mcg
Adult

19 years and older: 30 mcg
Pregnant women: 30 mcg
Breastfeeding women: 35 mcg
Precautions

Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, you should take dietary supplements only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

Nevertheless, biotin has not been associated with side effects, even in high doses, and is considered to be nontoxic.

PLEASE READ ALL OF IT FOR BETTER UNDERSTANDING.
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:00 AM   #15
Carol Ann
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,045
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

Haha!! I stand corrected!!

So I guess depending on the context of the post, it could be either one! Or I have been wrong along ...

Thanks, Ariana!

Carol Ann
__________________
July 24, 2013: "Infected" Right Nipple and benign cyst removed, pathology report revealed Paget's, DCIS, and ILC 1.25 cm, ER+/Pro+/HER2 equivocal, Grade 2 under benign cyst, previous diagnostic mammo/ultrasound said I was perfectly healthy in both breasts.

Aug 18, 2013: MRI report says Left breast is perfectly healthy "consistent with previous studies".

Sept 2013: I insist on a bilateral mastectomy anyway. Too nervewracking to let left breast remain with higher risk after 3 cancers in right, nipple in right is already gone anyhow.

Sept 18, 2013: Bilateral mastectomy, 11 right nodes removed, ALL negative BUT -- ER+/PRO+/HER2+ tumor, 1.0 cm, Grade 2 found in a piece of "grossly unremarkable" breast tissue from prophylactic mastectomy of left breast, no nodes removed.

Oct 25, 2013: 13 left side nodes removed, ALL negative, Stage 1 across the board, NO RADS needed, YAAAAY! Port also installed.

Nov 25, 2013 Begin 6 rounds TCH.

March 10, 2014 Just finished 6th and LAST Chemo today, YAAAAAY!

March 24, 2014 Echocardiogram to make sure I'm still good for Herceptin every 3 weeks.

March 31, 2014 Echo results NORMAL, first Herceptin all by itself. Now if only my eyes would stop streaming from the Taxotere ... :)

April 21, 2014 Started Arimidex and therapy for "mild" lymphedema in left hand and arm

May 2014 Therapy completed, I have sleeves and gloves for both arms, a Flexi touch lymph pump to hook up to for an hour every day, and I've become an arm bandaging expert. :)

June 2014 Begin Fosamax to prevent osteoporosis; bone scan revealed osteopenia

Nov 17, 2014 FINAL Herceptin!

Dec 4, 2014 My right thigh muscle has been extra achy for days ... I discover a blister rash cluster on the side of my right thigh while taking a shower. Port appointment cancelled until Dec 17, my doc is working me in tomorrow afternoon to see me and the rash. My muscle at least feels less achy.

Dec 5, 2014 Yep, I have shingles. Boo! I start acyclovir and also have a prescription for a painkiller just in case for over the weekend.

Dec 17, 2014 Port is OUT!

January 2016 Shingles again and this time it started where my left breast (where the hidden HER2+++ tumor was!) used to be. My onc nurse got me a same day appointment to see my doc when I called and told her I had a rash on the site. The antiviral meds are working once again, though, so that is good news. :)
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:17 AM   #16
SoCalGal
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Posts: 1,606
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

Vitamin H/Vit H for Herceptin... This term goes back to when I first joined this board - so nearly 11 years ago. I don’t recall who first made the reference but it stuck like glue!
__________________
1996 cancer WTF?! 1.3 cm lumpectomy Er/Pr neg. Her2+ (20nodes NEGATIVE) did CMF + rads. NED.
2002 recurrence. Bilateral mastectomy w/TFL autologous recon. Then ACx2. Skin lymphatic rash. Taxotere w/Herceptin x4. Herceptin/Xeloda. Finally stops spreading.
2003 - Back to surgery, remove skin mets, and will have surgery one week later when pathology can confirm margins.
‘03 latisimus dorsi flap to remove skin mets. CLEAN MARGINS. Continue single agent Herceptin thru 4/04. NED.
‘04 '05 & 06 tiny recurrences - scar line. surgery to cut out. NED each time.
1/2006 Rads again, to scar line. NED.

3/07 Heartbreaking news - mets! lungs.sternum. Try Tykerb/Xeloda. Tykerb/Carbo/Gemzar. Switch Oncs.
12/07 Herceptin.Tykerb. Markers go stable.
2/8/08 gamma knife 13mm stupid brain met.
3/08 Herceptin/tykerb/avastin/zometa.
3/09 brain NED. Lungs STABLE.
4/09 attack sternum (10 daysPHOTONS.5 days ELECTRONS)
9/09 MARKERS normal!
3/10 PET/CT=manubrium intensely metabolically active but stable. NEDhead.
Wash out 5/10 for tdm1 but 6/10 CT STABLE, PET improving. Markers normal. Brain NED. Resume just Herceptin plus ZOMETA
Dec 2010 Brain NED, lungs/sternum stable. markers normal.
MAR 2011 stop Herceptin/allergy! Go back on Tykerb and switch to Xgeva.
May-Aug 2011 Tykerb Herceptin Xgeva.
Sept 2011 Tykerb, Herceptin, Zometa, Avastin.
April 2012 sketchy drug trial in NYC. 6 weeks later I’m NED!
OCT 2012 PET/CT shows a bunch of freakin’ progression. Back to LA and Herceptin.avastin.zometa.
12/20/12 add in PERJETA!
March 2013 – 5 YEARS POST continue HAPZ
APRIL 2013 - 6 yrs stage 4. "FAILED" PETscan on 4/2/13
May 2013: rePetted - improvement in lungs, left adrenal stable, right 6th rib inactive, (must be PERJETA avastin) sternum and L1 fruckin'worsen. Drop zometa. ADD Xgeva. Doc says get rads consultant for L1 and possible biopsy of L1. I say, no thanks, doc. Lets see what xgeva brings to the table first. It's summer.
June-August 2013HAPX Herceptin Avastin Perjeta xgeva.
Sept - now - on chemo hold for calming tummy we hope. Markers stable for 2 months.
Nov 2013 - Herceptin-Perjeta-Avastin-Xgeva (collageneous colitis, which explains tummy probs, added Entocort)
December '13 BRAIN MRI ned in da head.
Jan 2014: CONTINUING on HAPX…
FEB 2014 PetCT clinical “impression”: 1. newbie nodule - SUV 1.5 right apical nodule, mildly hypermetabolic “suggestive” of worsening neoplastic lesion. 2. moderate worsening of the sternum – SUV 5.6 from 3.8
3. increasing sclerosis & decreasing activity of L1 met “suggests” mild healing. (SUV 9.4 v 12.1 in May ‘13)
4. scattered lung nodules, up to 5mm in size = stable, no increased activity
5. other small scattered sclerotic lesions, one in right iliac and one in thoracic vertebral body similar in appearance to L1 without PET activity and not clearly pathologic
APRIL 2014 - 6 YRS POST GAMMA ZAP, 7 YRS MBC & 18 YEARS FROM ORIGINAL DX!
October 2014: hold avastin, continue HPX
Feb 2015 Cancer you lost. NEDHEAD 7 years post gamma zap miracle, 8 years ST4, +19 yrs original diagnosis.
Continue HPX. Adding back Avastin
Nov 2015 pet/ct is mixed result. L1 SUV is worse. Continue Herceptin/avastin/xgeva. Might revisit Perjeta for L1. Meantime going for rads consult for L1
December 2015 - brain stable. Continue Herceptin, Perjeta, Avastin and xgeva.
Jan 2016: 5 days, 20 grays, Rads to L1 and continue on HAPX. I’m trying to "save" TDM1 for next line. Hope the rads work to quiet L1. Sciatic pain extraordinaire :((
Markers drop post rads.
2/24/16 HAP plus X - markers are down
SCIATIC PAIN DEAL BREAKER.
3/23/16 Laminectomy w/coflex implant L4/5. NO MORE SCIATIC PAIN!!! Healing.
APRIL 2016 - 9 YRS MBC
July 2016 - continue HAP plus Xgeva.
DEC 2016 - PETCT: mets to sternum, lungs, L1 still about the same in size and PET activity. Markers not bad. Not making changes if I don't need to. Herceptin/Perjeta/Avastin/Xgeva
APRIL 2017 10 YEARS MBC
December 2017 - Progression - gonna switch it up
FEB 2018 - Kadcyla 3 cycles ---->progression :(
MAY30th - bronchoscopy, w/foundation1 - her2 enriched
Aug 27, 2018 - start clinical trial ZW25
JAN 2019 - ZW25 seems to be keeping me stable
APRIL 2019 - ONE DOZEN YEARS LIVING METASTATIC
MAY 2019 - progression back on herceptin add xeloda
JUNE 2019 - "6 mos average survival" LMD & CNS new single brain met - one zap during 5 days true beam SBRT to cord met
10/30/19 - stable brain and cord. progression lungs and bones. washing out. applying for ds8201a w nivolumab. hope they take me.
12/27/19 - begin ds8401a w nivolumab. after 2nd cycle nodes melt away. after 3rd cycle chest scan shows Improvement, brain MRI shows improvement, resolved areas & nothing new. switch to plain ENHERTU. after 4th cycle, PETscan shows mostly resolved or improved results. Markers near normal. I'm stunned but grateful.
10/26/20 - June 2021 Tucatinib/xeloda/herceptin - stable ish.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:36 AM   #17
Carol Ann
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,045
Re: When to consider ending treatment?

Ok ... good to know I'm not totally crazy!

Carol Ann
__________________
July 24, 2013: "Infected" Right Nipple and benign cyst removed, pathology report revealed Paget's, DCIS, and ILC 1.25 cm, ER+/Pro+/HER2 equivocal, Grade 2 under benign cyst, previous diagnostic mammo/ultrasound said I was perfectly healthy in both breasts.

Aug 18, 2013: MRI report says Left breast is perfectly healthy "consistent with previous studies".

Sept 2013: I insist on a bilateral mastectomy anyway. Too nervewracking to let left breast remain with higher risk after 3 cancers in right, nipple in right is already gone anyhow.

Sept 18, 2013: Bilateral mastectomy, 11 right nodes removed, ALL negative BUT -- ER+/PRO+/HER2+ tumor, 1.0 cm, Grade 2 found in a piece of "grossly unremarkable" breast tissue from prophylactic mastectomy of left breast, no nodes removed.

Oct 25, 2013: 13 left side nodes removed, ALL negative, Stage 1 across the board, NO RADS needed, YAAAAY! Port also installed.

Nov 25, 2013 Begin 6 rounds TCH.

March 10, 2014 Just finished 6th and LAST Chemo today, YAAAAAY!

March 24, 2014 Echocardiogram to make sure I'm still good for Herceptin every 3 weeks.

March 31, 2014 Echo results NORMAL, first Herceptin all by itself. Now if only my eyes would stop streaming from the Taxotere ... :)

April 21, 2014 Started Arimidex and therapy for "mild" lymphedema in left hand and arm

May 2014 Therapy completed, I have sleeves and gloves for both arms, a Flexi touch lymph pump to hook up to for an hour every day, and I've become an arm bandaging expert. :)

June 2014 Begin Fosamax to prevent osteoporosis; bone scan revealed osteopenia

Nov 17, 2014 FINAL Herceptin!

Dec 4, 2014 My right thigh muscle has been extra achy for days ... I discover a blister rash cluster on the side of my right thigh while taking a shower. Port appointment cancelled until Dec 17, my doc is working me in tomorrow afternoon to see me and the rash. My muscle at least feels less achy.

Dec 5, 2014 Yep, I have shingles. Boo! I start acyclovir and also have a prescription for a painkiller just in case for over the weekend.

Dec 17, 2014 Port is OUT!

January 2016 Shingles again and this time it started where my left breast (where the hidden HER2+++ tumor was!) used to be. My onc nurse got me a same day appointment to see my doc when I called and told her I had a rash on the site. The antiviral meds are working once again, though, so that is good news. :)
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