Wednesday, December 12, 2012

We have a new plan...

and I will start carboplatin only on December 26th.  I saw my oncologist this morning and I was reminded why I like her so much.  She is flexible, smart and personable.   I am doing just carboplatin because single agents are the standard for metastatic breast cancer.  And it makes sense - if you do a combo and you have progression, you don't know which drug failed.  So I'll be doing carbo once a week for three weeks, one week off, rinse and repeat.  Because I will receive smaller doses at a time, it should be quite tolerable.  We'll do tumor markers at the beginning of each new cycle, and I'll have a PET/CT scan every three months unless there is a rise in tumor markers.  I'm also having a new baseline PET/CT on December 21.  If I can coordinate it with my Radiation Oncologist, I'm hoping to have a brain MRI on the same day. 

Carboplatin passes the blood/brain barrier, so that's another good reason to use it this time.  And back in May, there was a clinical trial using carboplatin and generic actos.  So we are going to add the actos to the mix and I'll stay on it to see if it helps.  This drug just got a black box warning from the FDA stating that it can cause bladder cancer if you use it for more than a year, so we'll pay attention to the length of time I use this drug.  If 11 more months come along and I'm still doing this protocol, we'll probably have to skip the actos.  But then, this would be really good news and I'd probably be in regression.  We'll cross that bridge when we get there.

I also visited my surgeon and I'm now scheduled to have the port placed next Monday morning.  It was good to hear my Dana Farber nurse tell me how much confidence she has in this particular surgeon.  I know a lot of people who have ports placed and have trouble with them, but my first one never bothered me for a second.  Unfortunately, she can't put it in the same vein so she'll have to tip my head back to get at another vein.  I'll be out - who cares?

So now I can plan the next few months including a trip to Florida, probably in February, to visit our friends who will be soaking up the sunshine.  I'm sure I'll be ready for some sun and warmth by then. 
And more importantly, I can enjoy Christmas with my family and friends!


  1. Michelle, I am so glad you got what you were hoping for ... an after-Christmas chemo start.

    As always, I will be holding you in love and light as you tread this next part of your journey.

    With love,


  2. Well is sounds like you have a good plan in place. I am thrilled for you that this starts after Christmas. You and your family remain in my prayers and here's hoping and praying for a successful treatment and long remission.


  3. Michelle, sounds like an excellent plan. And about the port, I do think it is who puts it in. My brother never had a problem and his was in for a long time.


  4. Oh Michelle, this new plan sounds great! I'm so glad you can start after Christmas! You are doing so well, my friend! Yes, the Actos can wait! It's important to keep the blood sugar down and do it's other job, too! This must make you feel so relieved to have these alternate ways to take care of yourself!
    Take care,

  5. I meant to say you can use the Actos and wait! :}

  6. Michelle, great news that you can delay the chemo start until after Christmas! I will be praying that this protocol puts you into a very long remission.

    I think the last time you visited friends in FL, they were on the east coast. Are these the same people? If you are visiting somewhere closer to me and the date is after the 20th, maybe we can meet again.

  7. Sounds like a great plan of action, Michelle. You have gone through so much with this damn disease. As Kathleen said, holding you in love and light.

    You have never lost your sense of humor. Sure you get mad and hate what's happening. Who the heck wouldn't?

    You sound like a Prell commercial - rinse and repeat. LOL.


  8. Sorry for the delay in responding Michelle. I am so happy you will start after the holidays. I'm sure the port will be fine. Mine clogs a bit, but it's more to do with my blood chemistry than anything else. It's working more often now than not.

    I'll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. Michelle I am glad your plan will start after Christmas. You need to enjoy this holiday with your family. My prayers continue for you. May you and your family have a Blessed Christmas. Love Debbie

  10. I hope eery ting works out as you plan or hope for. You do help to inspire others.