Metastatic breast cancer sucks! Especially mine, who I've named Bob. Bob made his presence know first in August 2015 just after I completed the comprehensive exams for my PhD (yes, I'm a late bloomer...). I made it through initial treatment for Stage 3A breast cancer (chemo, surgery, and radiation) and completed the degree only three months behind when I wanted to finish. Note: I don't think chemo worked very well as I didn't fully lose my hair on very strong chemo. This was in San Antonio, TX.
I began on the anti-estrogen meds and a post-doc in Newark, Delaware. And was on a clinical trial there where we think I was on the med rather than the placebo.
Then I was offered a 'big-girl' job in Little Rock, AR. I was able to complete the clinical trial here. And in a few months, I began to feel 'weird' in certain places. And coughing. And then a rib broke from a simple stretch. Yes, Bob was back. He had metastasized to the bones of my sternum, rib, hip, and cervical spine. Note that I continue to work at my dream job that the PhD and various life experiences had made possible.
We've done testing to determine what treatments might work with Bob. I've got one. Only one. Bob does not respond to the standard of care treatments. The anti-estrogen med did not work. And the med I have now (only Cycle 2) is causing liver problems. Weekly blood tests are now necessary to determine if I can even continue this med.
Enter the company, Massive Bio. https://massbio.io/en They provide a Virtual Tumor Board with some very impressive participants. I've researched this service and asked to see sample reports. The five individuals individually review the past medical history and determine a course of action. Then they get together, virtually, and agree upon a final report that includes recommendations for treatment, clinical trials, and additional testing of the tumor that might give clues as to what might be effective against it.
This is what I am fundraising for. The service is not cheap, $1,500, and not covered by insurance. But this is the equivalent of multiple second opinions.
Why now? Another PET/CT scan is upcoming, but we are pretty sure that Bob has continued to set up home, even in the two months I have been on treatment.
I have so much more to give to the people of Arkansas. And even though I know it is unlikely at this point, I'd love to be around to see my grandson graduate from high school, eight more years. These two are my reasons for everything.
Thank you for considering funding me!
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