Treatment moved on to Denosumab (AKA Xgeva)
I had my first dose of Denosumab (AKA Xgeva) early in May and everything seemed to be fine. I can’t tell you what a relief it is not to have to have a cannula put in every 4 weeks and then hooked up for the Zoledronic Acid (AKA Zometa, Zoledronate). Now instead of spending an hour it can all be done in about 5 minutes. Yes, I do realise that an hour is not long by comparison to the treatments that some have, but trying to get a vein has been more and more difficult and I don’t want a Port put in, yet. I didn’t have the treatment at the end of May because I went to look after my aunt after eye surgery on the 28th of May.
The needle for the Denosumab was so fine I didn’t actually feel it go in, and the nurse gave it slowly so that wasn’t a problem either. The only thing I noticed was a bit of tightness in a muscle going round my back when I was doing the warm-up for my T’ai Chi class the next day.
I wanted to change from Zoledronic Acid because I have the feeling that it hasn’t been working very well of late, and also because after every dose the orifices of my nose and ears have been getting bigger and bigger. I no longer have that ‘rim’ in the ears which stops you putting a cotton bud in too far and my ears have been SO itchy, at times they have been driving me mad. Of course it was my oncologist who thought I was mad when I mentioned this to him, but since I have mentioned this before he has reluctantly changed my medication. My ears don’t itch nearly as much, which is really strange after years of irritation, and I have some drops from an ENT consultant which makes it even better. I had been on Zoledronic Acid almost constantly since February 2008. The only blip was when I had my left hip replaced in December 2011 when it was halted for a few months for the surgery to take place.
I had a repeat CT scan on 5th of June, and a bone scan coming up on the 19th to look forward to. I had some plain x-rays of my right hip done on the 12th because I have been having a lot of problems with that hip recently. That hip was replaced in January 2008 and I recently recalled that they may have said that it would last me 5 years, and that was nearly 5 and a half years ago. I am hoping that this is the source of the problem rather than the cancer rearing its ugly head again. My last scans were in October 2012 which showed that things were basically still stable and the cancer is still confined to my bones.
My approach has been to include multiple modes of treatment. As you can see from the above I do have Conventional Western Medical (CWM) treatment (Letrozole, AKA Femara, alongside the Denosumab) but as I understand breast cancer there seems to be multiple causes that can start a tumour forming so I choose to use multiple treatments against it. I have acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine prescribed for me by a properly qualified practitioner, but I also have used dietary changes, reflexology and supplementation to work against the cancer. I don’t necessarily do exactly the same thing every day because I like to keep the little ‘darlings’ guessing what I am going to do next. Many consider that anything other than CWM to be quackery and sold only by snake oil salesmen but I have done research for myself and I have decided on my treatment options. It is my body and my cancer, and so my decision. Others may not be comfortable with Alternative or Integrated modes of treatment, but as long as you have looked at it all with an open-mind and made your own decision then that is the best way for you. I just know that CWM alone is not for me, and despite what the detractors say there actually is a huge amount of scientific evidence that these other modalities work. http://www.canceractive.com
We should be made aware of all the treatments which are available and then make up our own minds.
I have lived with a diagnosis of Metastatic Breast Cancer since January 2008. I have not had any cytotoxic chemotherapy during this period.