I was in my doctor's office yesterday for my regular screening. I've been thinking about having my breast cancer tumor pulled out of the freezer and having new genetic testing done. This could be more valuable to me as a Stage 4 metastatic gal, because DNA testing today can tell you so much more about the makeup of your tumor. This information can help doctors and scientists find specific drugs that will kill your strain of breast cancer, instead of the hunt-and-peck chemo method we have today.
I have been on six different types of chemotherapy. Between the high hopes when the chemo is working, to the devastation of hearing that it is now not working and your tumors are growing again, it is an insane and disturbing ride.
I haven't even mentioned the side effects, many of which I live with today. The side effects can go away once you have stopped chemo. Unfortunately, I will never be out of treatment. My cancer is incurable.
That is why I keep banging the drum to make people understand that we need to put more money into research, so we can find less toxic drugs. Drugs that will not drag your quality of life into the tank – or worse, kill you. We need cancer to become a chronic disease, like AIDS or diabetes – a chronic condition that we can live with and not die from.
I thank my lucky stars for clinical trials like the one I am on now with Eli Lilly.
My quality of life is so much better with this targeted therapy. My biggest side effect is fatigue. I have been on the Eli Lily drug since January 2013, and it is working.
This will change the face of cancer. The strides that are being made today are huge!
We now have scientific advances that were not available five or 10 years ago. I have hope and pray that this drug will keep me alive.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.