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Staring Down Cancer

A new chemo drug - and a new hope

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Happy New Year!  I took someone's advice and decided to rest, rest, rest over the holidays.  

That lasted for a day.  I'd like to meet the mom who can actually rest over the holidays.  So I did the second best thing: I rested after the holidays.  I tried to be patient while I waited to hear if I had been accepted into a new phase one clinical trial.  

The seven chemotherapy drugs I have taken over the last year and a half were a bust.  My doctor hates to hear me say that, because he feels that even if they stopped working after three months, there was still some level of success involved.  That's a hard concept to grasp when there are a limited number of chemotherapy drugs available.  When there aren't any more, there aren't any more.  I guess you could say it's the same as looking at a glass being half empty or half full.  After being in treatment for so long and knowing that the tumors are in a vital organ, my liver, it's not easy to stay positive. I do the best I can.

But this brings me to share with you some great news.  I have been accepted into a phase one clinical trial for estrogen-positive breast cancer.  This drug is being touted as the biggest breakthrough in breast cancer since Dr. Dennis Slamon identified the HER2/neu oncogene and the resulting treatment drug Herceptin.

At this stage, the drug involved in the trial is referred to only as "LY2835219."  I had my first day in the clinical trial yesterday.  I spent eleven hours at the hospital with blood draws every two hours, received four electrocardiograms, a skin biopsy, a liver biopsy the day before, etc.

I am really excited and hopeful. I am one of 100 women participating in this study nationwide.  They believe that this will be the first oral chemotherapy that will not have any side effects.  

Since its inception, this is what The Noreen Fraser Foundation has been working on – devoting research funds to find a treatment, which will allow us to have our lives back.   A chemo that will have few or no side effects, enabling us to live normal lives with cancer and not die from it.  Basically, a drug that will turn cancer into a chronic disease that can be managed.

If this works with breast cancer, it will open the field for the treatment of all cancers.  That is my New Year's wish for 2013!

Noreen Fraser is living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is the Founder and CEO of the Noreen Fraser Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to funding groundbreaking women's cancer research. To stay in touch with Noreen, please 'LIKE' The Noreen Fraser Foundation on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.  Noreen can be contacted via email at noreen@noreenfraserfoundation.org.