Today was my weekly trip to Walter Reed. My doctor ordered lab tests just to see how I am doing and found my Hemoglobin very low, anemia, in other words. Normal is a 12. Mine was 9.6. He wants to watch things, and says that he will check it again Monday but that the shot he could give me to bring it back up has too many side effects and he would opt for a blood transfusion if it gets closer to an 8 in the coming weeks. Gear up prayer warriors! I need my red blood cell count numbers to come back up!
Many of you have asked about my breast cancer, such as prognosis and about why I have to go weekly for infusions. Fifteen years ago my prognosis would have been bleak because of my diagnosis of the growth factor gene called Her2Neu. Mine was “triple positive”, meaning an aggressive form of breast cancer. The infusions I receive every week target this gene factor’s proteins to stop their growth. I will continue receiving Herceptin (a target gene therapy, used in conjunction with my chemo therapy through April, then on its own through December.) How effective it has been is impossible to tell. They know from research that it reduces cancer recurrence/metastises (spreading elsewhere) by 52%, but until a recurrence occurs (or not) over time in my own body can’t be predicted with certainly. Because this in the only drug on the market, so far, to treat this growth factor, they are doing all they can for me.
Spring is in the air, birds are singing and that makes life feel a little more cheerful and hopeful as the next few weeks of chemo await me. It will all be behind me in about 6 weeks (the chemo therapy effects).
Here is a good video about Herceptin and it’s effectiveness :