My oncologist’s nurse at MD Anderson told me that with my genetic mutation BRAF V600D “We have absolutely no idea if Zelboraf will work for you or not.” I have felt like the last unicorn for months with this phrase haunting me. Today we found out that it’s working. The tumor in my heart that is blocking the flow of blood in my right ventricle went from 24mm by 25mm DOWN to 18mm by 16mm, which is almost the same as it was in February. Now I know that doesn’t seem like much size wise but we are dealing with some very important and limited real estate here.
Remember I’m taking a treatment that hasn’t even been on the market a year, is still in clinical trials, and there was NO DATA whatsoever on whether it would work for me. But Dr. Sosman at Vandy was convinced I would respond to it. He was right. It feels like a miracle when I think about what my dad went through.
Thankfully some of the side effects have gotten easier. The joint pain is gone and it turns out I’m not as sensitive to the sun as some people can be. No drug-dealer dark windows on my SUV thank goodness. I really didn’t want those. I think it would’ve upped the ante for my first (and WAY OVERDUE) speeding ticket. I haven’t slept with ice packs on my feet, had a fever, or been itching myself upside down in weeks. I still struggle with some of the side effects. It seems like I beat one down and another one comes up, but still I’m marching forward.
I am blessed with so many prayer warriors on my side. They have really helped me through the days when I struggled and wondered if it was all for naught. Maybe I’m just buying a few days, weeks, months, maybe a few more years? All any of us has is today. I am so thankful to be able to be with my family for however long I can. I think it was all the prayers in Rome. He heard me!! I am very grateful tonight and my favorite new MRI Report word is “DECREASE”.