Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Trials and Justice

Yesterday I went in to Swedish Hospital to talk to the research coordinator for the clinical trial that I asked to be in. This particular trial fits my situation perfectly. It is for early stage breast cancer patients who have completed chemo and radiation and are taking tamoxifen. I specifically asked to be in this trial because it adds bisphosphonates to the tamoxifen regime. Bisphosphonates are drugs generally used for bone loss, such as osteoporosis. They have been found to have a significant impact on distant recurrences of breast cancer to the bones. This trial measures the use of tamoxifen with bisphosphonates administered in different ways, via IV or taken in pill form.

I was really excited to be part of it since the benefits are significant. Unfortunately I was told that I was too far out from chemotherapy. The people who run the study set it up as part of the criteria that the participants were no more than 8 weeks out from chemo. I am 12 weeks out. I never thought I would be disappointed to be further away from chemo. I am extremely disappointed that I can't be part of it. I am going to do whatever I can to get my doctor to prescribe Zometa (the bisphosphonate) for me so that I can get the benefits associated with the study.

Since I am 12 weeks out from chemo, my body is recovering from being assaulted. I have my energy back and I feel really good. I feel healthy and whole. The injustice of it all though is that now that I am feeling healthy, I still look sick. Though my hair is growing and people continue to remind me that it is, I still look like "Cancer Girl" when I look in the mirror. My mutinous eyelashes and eyebrows decided to take a hike at about 8 weeks after my last chemo and though they are coming back, it just isn't fast enough. What kind of justice is it when the hair on my chin, under my arms and on my legs comes back with a vengeance but the hair on my head is growing back at a snails pace? Drat! I want to look as healthy on the outside as I feel on the inside. Every morning I look in the mirror and though I see someone who is healthy and happy and I am thankful for that, there is only one word that comes to mind when looking at my head....GROW!!

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