Having been on Xeloda for more than 6 months and doing fairly well I just received a report from my dermotologist that a bump she removed from my back tested Breast Cancer. This is not a great surprise for me because that is indeed the way I discovered my reoccurence on my skin. 5 1/2 years ago I had a bump on my back and when tested it came back positive for Breast Cancer and so my journey in the metastatic breast cancer world began. I strongly advise that all women who have had Breast Cancer have an annual skin checkup. Very few people consider the skin an organ, but it is the largest organ of our body and Breast Cancer will spread to the skin. If you feel a bump somewhere on your body, including your scalp, please check it out. It may be nothing but it may be something that can save your life.
Having just gotten this new information I find myself a bit teary and very vulnerable. This terrible disease is so difficult to treat because the metastatic cells have the ability to learn how to resist drugs. Consequently, we go from one drug to another to find the “one” that will give you more time. I will be participating in a trial called the Side-Out Protocol which will be funded my Side-Out. It will test 25 or so women who have metastatic disease of the Breast in 2 separate labs working in concert. One lab will do a molecular profile of the tumor and the other will be working on the protein makeup of the cells. The 2 labs will then test the tumors with certain drugs to point to a treatment that will work for each woman. It is very exciting, ground breaking science and I am sooo ready to participate. I’m hoping they will be able to come up with some biological information that will explain why these tumors act the way they do. The metastatic cells are smart. Let’s hope the Scientists doing the trial are smarter.