Bone mets … and another trial

Two things. 

1.  The cancer has spread to my bones.  This is called bone metastasis, and it’s not a particularly good sign.

2.  The cancer in the lymph nodes in my chest now shows “near-complete resolution” with “minimal hypermetabolic activity.”  This is GREAT NEWS and as far as I’m concerned, it’s at least a minor miracle.  Not to use the word lightly around my friends the nuns or anything, but really?  Near complete resolution?  Awesome.

We just have to work on the cancer in my bones now, adding Zometa infusions once every four or twelve weeks to strengthen the bones and (hopefully) slow the cancer’s growth as the Femara continues to block the estrogen that feeds it.  I say once every four OR twelve weeks because we don’t know yet.  I’ve agreed to join another clinical trial and recieve whichever treatment the randomizer assigns me to receive. 

Experimental research is important.  Just because the last clinical trial was so hard on me doesn’t mean this one will be – and every little piece of knowledge helps the researchers plan treatment not only for me but for the women and men who come after me.  Bone mets happen to 70% of breast cancer patients, they say, and we need to find ways to control their growth until they can be stopped.  So I’m off to start another clinical trial, with my first infusion tomorrow.  I’m hopeful.

56 Responses to Bone mets … and another trial

  1. Becky says:

    Oh, Susan. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

  2. Oh wow! I’m hopeful too! From everything my furious research shows, bone mets are easier to fight then soft tissue mets. So let’s call this victory no. 5, and battle number 6. (Do I have my numbers right?)

    • Well, the numbers don’t mean as much now that I’m all over metastatic, I suppose, but I’ve had
      – right IBC
      – left paget’s
      – recurrence in left axillary (armpit) nodes
      – recurrence in center hilar (near lung) nodes
      and now – metastastis in the bones (left top leg, right hip, ribs, spine)

      So fight number 5, I suppose, with fight 4 ongoing until they are completely resolved?

  3. The randomizer sounds like it should be some sort of transformer. Hey maybe it is! Let’s hope the clinical trial transforms you and the bone mets gets to be called “near complete resolution” too. Big soft gentle hug from across the moat.

  4. Jeannie says:

    Near-complete resolution is GORGEOUS news! I can hardly believe it. Next up on the Princess Fight Club: bone mets. {{HUGS}} for victory!

  5. Spruce Hill says:

    Keeping my prayers going for you. I am on zometa as well once every 21 days. Keep your chin up! It’s a scary thing but you my dear are a tough cookie.

  6. *m* says:

    So very glad to hear you got some favorable news and that a war plan is already in place for the next battle. Onward and forward! Thinking of and rooting for you every single day.

  7. NYFriend says:

    Thanks for the update – I’ve been checking for one! 😉

    Totally awesome news on the lymphs, and alas, a new challenge in your bones. I hope the infusion is easy on you and brutal on the bone mets!

    I am hopeful too.

  8. Colleen says:

    Okay. Now, we redouble our prayer efforts. JPII is being beatified in Rome on May 1, which is Divine Mercy Sunday. The Feast of Divine Mercy is the Sunday after Easter. JPII had a huge love for the Divine Mercy, a devotion revealed to St. Faustina Kowalska (a fellow Pole). I’ll be praying the Divine Mercy Novena, starting on Good Friday, in preparation for the beatification, and especially, for your complete healing. I’m so glad about the “near complete resolution”. And about the new clinical trial. I know you are so tired. But you are a fighter, even when you don’t want to be. Many hugs and much love.

  9. Stacy says:

    I wish you had TWO pieces of good news but I’ll take this! I’m hoping for the absolute best outcome for you, you are in my thoughts more than you can imagine. Be well my friend, be strong 😉


  10. jodifur says:

    Yeah to good news, boo to bad news, and hope. There is always hope. And love.

  11. marty says:

    You don’t have to use the word miracle lightly. It is what it is.

    I am hopeful too.

  12. Jenny says:

    hugs as usual, my friend. Bone mets is not great news but glad to see that they are moving forward with treatment. I also want to say how grateful I am that you do the clinical trials. I don’t get the chance to do as many trials living as I do in New Zealand but agree wholeheartedly that every trial, every piece of knowledge gathered is vitally important in learning how to treat and hopefully ultimately eradicate death from Stage IV cancers

  13. Lisa says:

    I loved the “near complete resolution,” too! Yay! When I was diagnosed w/ Stage IV invasive lobular carcinoma, I had bone mets & that was actually my first symptom (back pain from compression fractures in my spine from the mets). I’m on Zometa every 4 weeks & haven’t had any side effects from it, so I hope the same for you. I think about you often & hope you will get some of the same great news I’ve been getting lately. ((hugs))

  14. Stella says:

    It is what it is… But you being who you are means it won’t be what it is for much longer! Cheering you on from the sidelines!!!

  15. 1. Sh*t.
    2. Hooray!
    I too am grateful that you do, and can do, the clinical trials. Not just because they might be great and miraculous for you (which I really really hope for!), but also because they might be great and miraculous for so many coming behind you. Hope for all of us.
    Lots and lots of love, I love the way you stride forward with such grace and courage and optimism. And I’m sorry for swearing in the comments. Big hugs!

    • Kate, there was plenty of swearing here earlier in the week – we saw my radiation oncologist Monday and she only told us about the mets. We wanted to find out the options for treatment plan before we talked to many people – and I am SO glad we did! This is much better news than we had earlier in the week.

  16. Karen G says:

    Susan, Near complete resolution of the lymph nodes *does* sound Awesome!
    Even so, I’m sorry to hear your new news wrt bone involvement. I am not a medical person; however I do have a friend with IBC.
    My hope and belief is that scientists and practitioners – like you, though in a different field! – will continue to explore and find new solutions to IBC.
    I also greatly admire your faith in approaching this challenge.
    Best wishes,
    Karen G

  17. Stimey says:

    You are the most badass woman I know. I, and your other friends, are here with you every step of the way.

  18. Margaret says:

    “I’m hopeful” are the words I love most to read in your posts. You’re a wonderful, wonderful writer, and I read with interest and admiration every word you write here, but “I’m hopeful” are my favorite words of all.

  19. Spacemom says:

    I love your second news. Your first needs a little work, something like “bones are clear”. I’ll let you get back on that second one in a while…

    (sending you hugs and good thoughts)

  20. Elaine says:

    Damn. Nothing ever seems easy. You send so much positive energy out to the world, I’m hoping it comes to you in spades for this next round.

  21. Magpie says:

    What Stimey said: you are badass. Thinking good thought for you.

  22. Suzie P. says:

    Crap, and YEA!!!!! And I’m with Stimey – you are the baddest badass I know lady! Hugs and more kick-assness coming your way!

  23. Bon says:

    okay. i like what Spacemom said: that second news made my night. that’s fabulous. the first news…not so much. but i love what Lisa said about the lack of side effects from the Zometa, and i love that you can do the clinical, and that it starts tomorrow.

    and i love you. you will be on my mind and heart tomorrow.

  24. Jackie says:

    It is amazing to me how quickly your doctors work, I’m so pleased you are in such good care.
    This news is hopeful, so that’s where I will stay, I have great hope for your future.

  25. BetteJo says:

    I cried today, getting overwhelmed with some stress and goings-on at work. I think I need some of those little lady lego warriors too! Except – I’m pretty sure they get their strength from YOU!

    God Bless ~

  26. Catherine says:

    So good to read that you got some good news. Wish it was all good news…. all the best as you go on with this next treatment.

  27. I’d like to associate myself with the remarks of those calling you “badass.” thoughts with you and yours.

    go git ’em.

  28. Kristen says:

    Every Thursday loves a miracle. Am praying furiously that you get all the awesome from Zometa and no side effects. Thanks, Lisa, for sharing your positive story!

    Sounds like we have a margarita in our near future, Susan. Wait, maybe I should bring it by before? 😉

  29. Hopeful? Absolutely!! Your positive attitude is as wonderful as the news of your next steps in this journey.

    Fight on, Warrior Princess!!

    Love to you, as always, CGF xoxoxoxo

  30. Susan says:

    Oh, Susan….as ever I am so impressed by your wonderful self–and happy to count myself among the Princess Brigade furiously rooting for continued good news. So much love flowing your way.

  31. Niksmom says:

    Sending you all kinds of love and good thoughts. I hope this new trial goes well and kicks cancers butt AGAIN! xo

  32. Amelie says:

    I’m glad that there were some good news. Sorry to hear about the bone mets, but hopeful that the new therapy will keep them in check. Thinking of you and your family.

  33. Lisa B says:

    What everyone else said. Hugs to the strong lady that you are. Hoping the Zometa kicks the mets into the long grass.

  34. Kami says:

    They say that attitude is half the battle, and that my friend you have already whipped.

  35. deb says:

    I have a daughter with a severe intellectual disability, people would always tell me, I don’t know how you do it. It’s not like I had a choice.

    You too. Here’s hoping the zometa works/helps. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

  36. Like everyone else, I wish we were *just* hearing the “near complete resolution” news, but if a miracle can happen once, it can happen again. Prayers, hugs, and thoughts with you and your men.

  37. I am here. Hoping and praying.

  38. Linda Lawrence says:

    You are in all of our thoughts and prayers.

  39. Pam says:

    Prayers to you Susan daily along with my sister-in-law@Sprucehill. The strength you are both showing is such an inspiration to us all.

  40. You’re incredible. So you’ve got to have incredible bones too. So glad the chest spots are shrinking. So facketdyfacketdyfacked though that you have to go forth into battle again. My prayers are for successful bone met treatment while preserving your quality of life this summer. I am getting VERY specific in my telling J.C. how your treatments are supposed to go!!!!

  41. Lisse says:

    Here’s to strong, fighting bones. Power up Susan, you have an army behind you.

  42. Donna says:

    Here is another one for the positive section.. my dear friend got to say “Oh #$%%^!” at her news of bone mets and a stray cancer or two in her colon. We got to give cancer a good dose of “piss off” for at least a few more years after that. She was another one who signed up for whatever she could qualify for (clinical trial wise)— an expert that she kicked to the curb gave her 8-12 months. We got almost nine years and she was diagnosed back when they did the mastectomy first and the rest after that. Keep on keepin on and do it knowing you are being loved the whole way.

  43. Lena says:

    Near-complete resolution is a beautiful thing to hear!

  44. I know from your tweets today that this trial could be, well, a trial to you. Hoping for only a few rough days in between many, many good ones.

  45. Amanda says:

    I am so grateful for your sharing, both here on your blog and in the future with your participation in clinical trials. Sending big x + o.

  46. JJ says:

    I missed seeing this until today — wow, I’m note even sure to react! Wow! Congratulations on the “near complete resolution” and I’m sorry about the “bone mets.” I have to believe that as much as your body seems to beat up cancer, you’re going to kick the hell out of the bone mets too. I believe in you! Before even reading this I asked my church to lift you up in prayer, so we’ve got a heap of prayer warriors in FFX praying for you!

  47. Minky {moo} says:

    I hope this kicks it’s booty. You know I am always thinking of and praying for you.

  48. Sue Farrell says:

    Wishing you the best, Susan. Your news literally hits my stomach, having dealt wit breast cancer in the past and will likely once again. Prayers!

  49. […] I am filled with happiness, at the good news that my chest tumors are healing, at the way my body moves today, and for the amazing friends that I have made on this journey […]

  50. I’d like to suggest striking the word “minor” from the phrase “minor miracle.” This is definitely a miracle and (in my humble opinion!) there’s no such thing as a MINOR miracle!!

  51. VDog says:

    Sending so much love to you. XOXO

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