I’m not apologising for being slack about updating this blog. The situation is this: I’m still really well and making the most of my freedom. I have an easy treatment that allows me to forget about cancer most of the time. Woo hoo! I’ll say that again – forget about cancer most of the time!
To recap, the tumours in my abdominal lymph system (ovarian cancer metastases) began growing again last year. I transferred from the Brisbane Mater hospital to the RBWH so I could join a clinical trial. I’m taking an experimental drug, rucaparib, that targets the cell repair mechanism. I think it works by stopping the unnecessary repair of faulty cells so they don’t accumulate as tumour growth.
I am one of the really lucky ones for whom this drug is effective. I’ve been on the treatment for a full year now, which is more successful than any other local patient as far as I can find out. Hopefully there are lots of other women around the world experiencing the same sort of positive result from trying this drug.
Best of all, rucaparib is in the form of pills, so I’m not hanging around the hospital these days except for monthly check-ups. There were unpleasant side effects at first, but not any more except for challenging my liver in a way that I don’t notice, but it preoccupies my medical team. My liver function is monitored carefully and so far has been ok. No one knows how long this treatment will continue to be effective and safe for me. Each appointment I hope to be told the tumours have shrunk, but this hasn’t happened so far. I have learned to be very happy with the news, “cancer stable” which means the tumours haven’t grown bigger.
So this is the story – same story each month lately – Phew!
I have been full of energy and free to enjoy some travel and concentrate on meaningful projects. Recently I attended a conference about Building a New Economy and here is my report. (You might have to scroll down a little way and click under Recent Posts on the right hand side.)