BIG UPDATE!…today, after months/years of waiting, I am finally being screened for my suitability for immunotherapy!! Since early on in diagnosis I have been interested in immunotherapy as a treatment option over chemo. From day 1 I believed that our immune system, or lack there of, is an essential factor in determining whether or not we get cancer. I couldn’t, therefore, get my head around why standard treatment involved therapies that reduced our immune system further. As a result I couldn’t accept the notion of chemotherapy as a suitable treatment for me. Despite this, when I was diagnosed in Jan 2016 with stage 4 ovarian cancer (aged just 30) I begrudgingly accepted chemo as my ‘only option’. The side affects were brutal. So, when my cancer returned in Dec 2017 I made the controversial decision to forgo chemo and continue my holistic approach alongside the, privately sourced, maintenance drug Avastin. This cost a massive £2000+ every 3 weeks and I was only able to access it through the incredibly generous donations of all of you. THANK YOU! The hope had been that this would buy me time to still have a level of health that would enable me to potentially go on an immunotherapy trial, should one that I was eligible for become available. Well that day has arrived!! ‘On paper’ I appear eligible for a new trial!! Today I will undergo a number of tests to see if I am clinical suitable. I will then find out the results in 1-2 weeks. This is an incredibly exciting point in my journey and I literally could not sleep last night! The trial, of course, has risks and I am in no way delusional about how serious some of them are but I just ‘know’ that this is the right path for me. It is the moment I’ve been waiting for – a moment I thought may never come – and sometimes we have to take risks when something matters this much to us. After all, isn’t life about the scary, exciting and unknown future that has yet to unfold?! 💜 last night I found myself sobbing with gratitude for everyone who donated to help me receive Avastin; to my loved ones; to my medical team; to research; and, above all, for life. My next chapter is about to begin… #immunotherapy #cancer #fimunro
Please note – suitability for a trial is not just a simple case of having a type of cancer (ie ovarian cancer). It is about that grade your cancer is, what stage it is, what your performance factor is, your genetic composition, when you last had treatment and what that treatment was, your blood results, the size and spread of your tumours, what treatment they have responded to in the past…and so much more!
I know, first hand, how frustrating it can be to see someone else with ‘the same’ diagnosis as you get treatment that you can’t. I’ve felt the pain of my BRCA ovarian sisters getting drugs that prolonged their life that I couldn’t get because I am not BRCA positive.
This is the main reason why I know I must try to get on this trial – not for me but so that one day, if this drug is affective, it will be available for more women and more people will get longer with their sisters, mothers, daughters, aunts, wives, girlfriends, cousins, friends, grandmothers…
Together we are stronger 💜
Target Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian Cancer Action