The ABC Cancer Diaries

A young, American-Born-Chinese woman living with metastatic breast cancer

Here we go again February 25, 2010

Filed under: Scans,Thanks,Treatment — wenren @ 7:09 pm

I met with my oncologist yesterday and the PET scan confirmed that my cancer had progressed. It was no surprise given the pain that I have been feeling. The root cause of the pain and shortness of breath is the cancer. We are most worried about the liver because that is the most life threatening. My liver cannot be operated on because the disease is very diffuse, and it is scattered in a lot of areas, so it is not a concentrated tumor that they can just remove. Too bad because the liver can regenerate itself. The amazing human body! Sometimes I feel my liver throbbing, and I believe that is due to the cancer. So, we switched chemo treatments to Gemzar and Carboplatin, which overall is supposed to be pretty harsh. I guessed my new treatment correctly because as I said before it is not too hard to predict what comes next since the list of possible chemo gets smaller. Process of elimination.

Yesterday I got my new treatment and so far I feel okay -mostly tired. The pain from before has been better today, so I just hope this new chemo regimen works. I am willing to put up with the side effects (nausea, possible hearing loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, lowered platelet counts, hair thinning amongst other things) if it works. So I will imagine my nodes and tumors shrinking and keep on resting, and enjoying life as it is.

Thank you to everyone who has called, emailed, come over, and wished us well through all of this! We love you.


Scans are stable! (Re-edited) October 13, 2009

Filed under: Scans — wenren @ 2:49 pm

YAY! Perhaps this was a little premature. I will most likely switching treatments soon.

(I will write more later, but gotta practice piano.)

Tomorrow is my next chemo, sometime around noon. I will see my doctor at 11:15 am, and then have chemo. I hope the wait isn’t too long. Feel free to text or email for a more accurate update!


Stable Scans September 14, 2009

Filed under: Scans — wenren @ 2:12 pm

This is good news. I wanted the scans to show that everything was alot smaller, but I will take stable. Stable means everything that was already there is still there (Liver mets – check. Lung nodule – Check. Bone mets – Check. ), but nothing has gotten bigger. I guess everything staying the same is good, but I feel like I am in a holding pattern. It still makes me nervous to know that the cancer might break free at any point.

So, Club Chemo is on for this Wednesday, September 16th. Please note there will be a NEW location:

300 E 66th Street (At Second Avenue)

3rd Floor.

9:30 AM.

I will be there at 9:00 AM on the first floor. If you don’t fine me just call or text me. I will be meeting with the doctor this Thursday as well for her to go over my scans and the next steps going forward. Thanks for your support and for keeping me in your thoughts.


Mixed Scan Results August 12, 2009

Filed under: Scans — wenren @ 6:44 pm

So, the results are mixed. But the plan is that I am going to stay with the same treatment and get rescanned the third or fourth week of September. Reason is that there was a long gap between my last scan and this scan. My last CT scan was end of May (May 28th). I didn’t get to start Taxol treatment until June 29th or so because I had pneumonia before then. So the reasoning is that there hasn’t been enough time for the Taxol/Avastin to do its thing, and things were probably alot bigger before this scan in August since it’s been almost two months since I last had a scan. So, the news is very mixed. I half expected it, but I was secretly hoping to be surprised by good news. The one hope that I cling to is that my tumor markers have been decreasing, so that must be a sign of something, right???

To date, I have only had 5-6 treatments in total of the Taxol/Avastin combo, so it is still a tad early, but it’s still hard not to think about what the next steps might have to be in case it doesn’t work…My oncologist is being pretty aggressive with this because we don’t want things to get bigger. At this point I have cancer in my chest, liver, lymph nodes, and potentially lung (at least it is suspicious looking). When I look at that on paper it is scary, but slowly I have just come to accept things as they are. After all, I am not really in control of this thing, I can only try to do my best, and enjoy each day as it comes.


Had a CT Scan Today August 6, 2009

Filed under: Scans,Uncategorized — wenren @ 11:25 pm

We shall see what the results are by next week. I have an appointment with my oncologist next Wednesday, August 12th.

Right now, I am pretty wiped out now from enduring a four-five hour fast, and being injected and having to drink oral contrast. I always have to fill out the same paperwork each time. I wonder if they can just issue  a frequent CT scan pass to me so I can get expedited service, ala frequent flyers? I never understand why I need to fill out my name and address again on a separate sheet, after they have me confirm it on another form. Somehow the inefficiency of the paperwork is not reassuring at all.

I hope I have good news to report soon!


Another scan today March 27, 2009

Filed under: Scans — wenren @ 1:19 am

We’ll (hopefully) know soon what the results are….Monday is my next treatment (navelbine), but before then I get to get my port put in. I hope navelbine isn’t too bad. I’ve been reading alot on it, so I feel like I know the worst that could happen. We’ll see…


Scan Results, and another round of the itchies March 13, 2009

Filed under: Scans — wenren @ 9:24 pm

So, we finally had some closure this past Tuesday on the results of the scan. The short version of the story is that it took alot of prodding and following up to ensure that the radiologist looked at my previous scan and compared it to the current scan that I did last Wednesday. There were a number of mixups, and it is still unbelieveable that so much coordination is needed to have scans transferred from one institution to another.

But basically my scans are stable which means nothing new, but everything that was already there is still there. It is somewhat positive news, but I was hoping for more. Given that, we went ahead with another round of this treatment this past Monday. They lowered my dose because I have been experiencing a horrible rash (one that can prevent me from sleeping).

So, this time around we all hoped that I wouldn’t have any rashes, but pretty much like clockwork I got the itchies starting Wednesday night, and right now I’m still itchy!

I went back to the dermatologist today, and there wasn’t much else he could give me. I don’t really want to do more steroids, so I’m going to try to ride out the weekend by relying on prescription strength topical steroid cream, ice, and cold baths, and patience!!

At the very least, I hope that the rash doesn’t last as long as last time.