Now all systems are go again.  We just can’t not go to Georgia.  You know how I keep talking about the trail of bread crumbs and the path illuminating in front of my feet?  Well, this is it.  I could stay here and do conventional chemo, and insurance would cover every red cent of it.  But there would be no immune recovery or immune stimulation.  And let’s face it. If my immune system was acting the way it should, it would not have escorted cancer in my door, much less poured it a drink and had it make itself at home. Yeah, it made itself at home alright. Took over the whole damn house!

Everything has fallen into place, and I feel very drawn to it.  As I said yesterday, I have felt that before and wound up in so much trouble.  The self-doubt that experience caused has left me not trusting myself very much.  Here’s the really weird thing.  I have not once, in the past five years, gotten No Evidence of Disease (NED).  I have had active cancer in my body the whole time.  And I’ve been close to death more than once.  But each time, I have pulled back up out of that to the point that people take it for granted that I will be just fine.  I feel like the Boy Who Cried Wolf in that one of these days, it’s going to be the one that takes me out of here.  But who knows when that will be?

The important thing is that, looking back, I see a distinct pattern of healing. Each time I go down, when I come back up, I am better than before.  Stronger than before.  More energized than before.  Wiser than before.  And older looking than before, but I’m trying to be patient with myself.  My body has been a war zone for the past five years.  A bloody battlefield.  So a wrinkle or two … a scar or two … expected status.

So, the Devil Went Down to Georgia.  Day after tomorrow!  If anyone knows any good boiled peanut roadside stands, holler!  This Southern gal has been out of the South for too long.

Comments
  1. Glenn says:

    Mel:

    I learned about your blog on THCF.

    In 1971 when I was an 11 y.o. child i lost my Mom to BC. My wife Sheri had BC 4.5 yrs ago and I wanted to try and provide some additonal potential paths to investigate; compassion, and most of all, hope. Sheri had triple negative BC (no hormone based drugs), very aggressive cell growth, high potential of reccurence, but went the traditional route of surgery, chemo, and radiation. It was a long journey but she is currently healthy. Due to these experiences combined with my interests in stock investing, I tend to investigate and research companies whom are developing revolutionary drug candidates for cancer therapies. I firmly believe that with the mapping of the human genome sequence, it is only a matter of time until novel personalized medicines using your own immune system, are proven via clinical trials resulting in FDA approved teatments.

    I don’t know the status on current enollment trials etc., (I’m sure you are aware of this website) but they can be researched at:

    http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=breast+cancer

    Don’t forget to google clinical trials in other countries for I’m not sure they are all listed here.

    1) This was posted in today’s local newspaper: Sarasota Memorial Hospital is the first site in the world to enroll participants in a study using newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patients’ immune systems to create a personalized drug designed to target and destroy their deadly disease.: http://health.heraldtribune.com/2012/02/08/promising-ovarian-cancer-drug-is-being-tested-in-sarasota/
    (perhaps this Australian mfg is enrolling elsewhere for BC studies?)

    2) Compugen (Israel) is a leading therapeutic product candidate discovery company, focused on biologics-based therapy to address important unmet needs in the fields of immunology and oncology.

    Recently, Compugen’s mAb target discovery capability has been expanded beyond the initial focus on various solid tumors such as lung, ovarian, breast, colorectal and hematological cancers. New field extension modules have been added, which are now enabling the discovery of drug targets involved in drug response, metastatic stage cancer, and additional cancers such as melanoma, renal, liver, and pancreatic cancers.

    I really believe their unique proprietary approach to drug discovery and the resulting # of drug candidates in their pipeline, this company will achieve a beakthrough. I would suggest reading through their R&D section.

    Compugen Cancer Target Results Demonstrate Significant Potential for Cancer Immunotherapy
    Feb 02, 2012

    http://www.cgen.com/Content.aspx?Page=press_releases&NewsId=601

    3) Oncolytics Biotech Inc. focuses on the discovery and development of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of a wide variety of human cancers. Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the Company was formed in 1998 to explore the oncolytic capability of the reovirus, a virus that preferentially replicates in cells with an activated Ras pathway, one of the most common family of genetic defects leading to cancer.

    The Company’s technologies are based on discoveries made in the 1990s in the Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Calgary. The potential products are being developed using the naturally occurring reovirus for treatment of cancers in humans. The reovirus, or Respiratory Enteric Orphan virus, has been demonstrated to replicate specifically in tumour cells that have a constitutively activated Ras pathway. Activating mutations of Ras and mutations along the Ras pathway occur in approximately two-thirds of all tumours. Tumours bearing an activated Ras pathway are deficient in their ability to activate an anti-viral response mediated by the host cellular protein, PKR. Since PKR is responsible for preventing reovirus replication, tumour cells lacking the activity of PKR are susceptible to reovirus infection and eventual cell death. As normal cells do not possess Ras activation, these cells are able to thwart reovirus infection by the activity of PKR. In a tumour cell with an activated Ras pathway, the reovirus is able to freely replicate and kill the host tumour cell. Progeny virus particles are then able to infect and kill surrounding cancer cells. This cycle of infection, replication and cell death is believed to be repeated until there are no longer any tumour cells carrying an activated Ras pathway available.

    If I’m not mistaken, reovirus treatments are available in China but I don’t recall the name of the company.

    http://www.oncolyticsbiotech.com/

    Another paper on reovirus: http://cogsci.uwaterloo.ca/Articles/Lee.html

    Mel, know that many people are rooting and praying for your quick, healthy, successful recovery.

    Blessings to you and your family,
    Glenn

  2. Keep the wind to your back…………..Kurt

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