The Big Guns!

Author: Rick Dunetz
February 21, 2008

Rick Dunetz
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Rick Dunetz

Executive Director at The Side-Out Foundation
Rick Dunetz is the founder and executive director of The Side-Out foundation. His passion for volleyball and his role as a coach led him to create the Foundation in honor of his mother, Gloria, who lived with breast cancer for six years.

Rick has coached volleyball in his local community for 15 years. Currently, he is the head coach of the Oakton girls freshman volleyball team and assistant coach for the girls varsity volleyball team in Vienna, Virginia.
Rick Dunetz
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The the emotional ups and downs of living with Metastatic Breast Cancer and probably all other Cancer diseases present a panoply of complexities that we try to navigate on a day to day basis. Both for the caregiver and the patient the challenges, risks and rewards are overwhelming. Fortunately for Gloria and I we have an extraordinary and understanding long term oncologist, a bevy of caring friends and family and a patient that says “bring it on” as an 11 year survivor.

Courage and conviction to fight is not uncommon among survivors but my partner and loving wife can set an example for others to learn from. Her work and her exercise regimen provide a powerful holistic approach to her treatment. Having said that there still remains a huge element of uncertainty in this yet evolving world of discovery and treatment for Breast Cancer. No doubt researchers and doctors have come a long way – but we have yet to arrive at the “promised land”. Most recent and considered cutting edge diagnostic testing by the experts is the practice of Therapeutic Targeting – enabled by Molecular Profiling Analysis. (See Dr. Von Hof’s “Context of Vulnerabilty”).

This very sophisticated analysis with the use of a super computer has produced a suggested target for Gloria – and we are now on a weekly program in its 3 rd week of treatment. The questions and uncertainty remain – what to expect when your doctor has come to the point where he says we have to become more aggressive and put you on the “Big Guns” which means stronger chemo with many unpleasant side affects. The adjustments are difficult! Hopefully my next entry will say THE DRUGS ARE WORKING! That news would certainly reinforce the efficacy of this new diagnostic tool.

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