So I spent Thursday and Friday last week in research/warrior mode, gathering all I could about this vaccine that I had not even heard of before a few days ago…and in the meantime I have gone away to a wonderful retreat with the women of my church and a dear new online friend who is also a survivor. I drove to New Jersey by myself to pick her up, then drove to Pennsylvania together and actually this was our first encounter with each other face to face…a beautiful weekend building memories together and sharing in God’s blessings of friendship and bonding with other Christian women. See our photo at the end of this post.
Here’s the update on the breast cancer vaccine mentioned in my previous post:
I had a blood test done this morning to screen me for an antigen I must have if I am going to be eligible to participate in one particular trial I did find that is available at Brooks Army Medical Center. Human Leukocyte Antigens have to be tested for when patient has transplants or stem cell procedures too…it is standard, and rules out the population for whom the treatment won’t work. In my case, it rules out 50% of women like me, so it’s a toss up as to what the blood test results will be. My oncologist agrees that due to my intermediate to high risk of recurrence I am a good candidate for this clinical trial. The good news is that because they are in the military electronic records system they would have acccess to everything they would need to know about my diagnosis, pathology, etc. The other good news is that it doesn’t matter that I am 15 months past active treatment. They have no time limit. The bad news? It is in Texas. That means 6 trips to Texas over 6 months. Texas is hot in the summer. Listen to me! That’s my first concern! Ha ha! (Hey – I know – we lived there for 2 years!) Seriously, though, my best friend next door with whom I have been sharing all of this information with, dialed her friend in Texas in the same city as Brooks Army Med. Ctr. and her friend said she would help with transportaiton, accomodations, whatever I would need! How’s that for fast? I don’t know if I am even eligible or IF I would pursue this given the circumstances, but it sure is nice to know that there are good people in this world. Pondering and praying now…