As you all know, we found out that my cancer has spread to my liver almost one month ago. As a result of this it was decided that I would enter into a study at Dana Farber. This particular study consists of three “arms”:
Arm 1: Consisting of a new drug called Faslodex. This is administered by two very painful shots in the butt. (25% chance of obtaining this arm)
Arm 2: Faslodex and Ibrance combined. Ibrance is one of the meds that i have been on since the beginning. (50% chance of obtaining this arm)
Arm 3: Faslodex, Ibrance and an Immunotherapy drug. This is administered via IV and is administered every two weeks. (25% chance of obtaining this arm)
From the first talks of this study, we had obviously hoped to receive arm #3 as this would be a “game changer” for me as quoted by my medical team!! It is all chosen at random so there is no way to know which you will be chosen for.
We reported to DFCI on February 27th as this was when i was due to start the study. My girl Roxanne had a hard time getting an IV in and me getting a port is now a topic of discussion. We moved to the 9th floor where we were told the my liver enzymes were heightened. To be in the study everything needs to be within certain limits. They gave me two bags of fluids and my liver enzyme was one point away from being where it needed to be. ONE POINT. To say we were frustrated, mad, upset is an understatement. We were sent home and told to report back in a week to try again. I was so mad and upset on the way home. You question why you are being put through all of this. Why you are being tortured? What can you do differently in all aspects of life to have a better outcome? After being pissed for a couple of days, i realized that there really is not much that i can do and that maybe it just was not meant to be that day. Maybe, if i did get to move forward last week then i would not have gotten the arm that i wanted. Who knows, but whatever it was it was worth it.
I reported to DFCI yesterday and all of my enzymes and other tests were right in line to start the study. I was entered into the system and the computer selected me to be in ARM #3!! The immunotherapy arm!! Trevor, Sarah and I along with the doctors were so excited to find this news out!! As they had said this could potentially be a game changer for me. There are also many side effects that could potentially come along with it but we will deal with them if they come up. I started on the study yesterday! I received two Faslodex shots in my butt. These were very painful and the injection site is just as sore, if not worse today then it was yesterday. I also received my monthly Lupron shot (another shot in the bum). An IV of Benadryl, which is a protocol for the immunotherapy drug and then a one hour IV drip of the new med. It was a long day and i will continue to be on this study until the drugs no longer work. Hopefully in a very long time.
I feel like i have now graduated from a “part time” Cancer Patient to a “full time” patient. I used to only have to report to Boston once a month and now i will be going in every two weeks. This will be a big change for our family and something that we will all have to adapt to. We are thankful to have so many in our “village” that are standing by to help when we need it.
This Cancer journey is one giant roller coaster. We have gone from shocked, distraught, worried and angry to now very hopeful all in a course of a few weeks. Here is to hoping that the next leg of this roller coaster ride goes pretty smoothly for a good amount of time.
I thank you all for the prayers, well wishes, calls and texts. I am a firm believer that all of these things helped me to get into the arm of the study, which i so badly wanted, at the time that I did.
22 thoughts on ““Strength is what we gain from the madness we survive.””
Congrats on getting ARM 3, so happy for you guys!
Hi April…So thankful you are starting on Arm #3!! Yahoo! Those prayers do work…God is listening. Bless you, Sweet Pea…my hero!!
I’m so happy you got the Arm you wanted! You are always in my thoughts and prayers. – Sara
Hooray for immunotherapy!! Here’s to being on it for a VERY long time <3
April, very glad to see this update. I’m so happy you got the treatment you were hoping for.
Arm 3! Thank goodness. Hugs from NC.
Yay!!! So happy to hear you got the treatment you were hoping to get April. You’re in my thoughts <3
April your a fighter and I’m praying for you! Never give up hope!
I’m so glad to hear your in the 3rd arm! Sending you positive thoughts and vibes. 🙂
YAS! ARM 3!!! I love the photos you shared at the bottom, I always remember how animated your facial expressions are, and I love that about you!!! Here’s to the roller coaster keeping on coasting!!
I am so happy that you are getting the ARM 3. I am continuing to say prayers for you. You are a fighter for sure and that is the important part. I am pretty sure I can say that we are all rooting for you. Always.
Please, please never hesitate to ask for help. IF there is anything that I can do, I would be happy to. xo
Such wonderful news! Praying for you ❤️
Wishing you all GOOD news!! Thinking of you and your family.
Thinking of you and your family April! Good luck and god bless!
I’m so glad your liver enzymes cooperated and you got randomized to Arm 3! I hope the side effects aren’t too bad. The pictures are hysterical.
You are one tough lady! Keep up the fight and my thoughts are with you!
All the Whalens sending Positive Energy and Love to You and Your Family April!
Might be the year for a Marshfield Fair reunion – my girls still talk about that day!
Love You! Larry
Praying for you April, that God Blesses you and walks with you through this process! We’re thinking of you, and praying for you and your family.
So happy for ARM3, as bittersweet as it is with the added visits to Boston… We are always here for you… Praying for you, we love you guys!
So happy for ARM3, as bittersweet as it is with the added visits to Boston… We are always here for you… Praying for you, we love you guys! ❤️❤️❤️
🙏🏻So happy you got the #3 treatment!!!!!! We are always thinking of you and your family and praying for great outcomes on this tough journey. Stay Strong! We love you!