A new challenge

(By Woody Fraser)
Bad news: Noreen has asked me to write today

Life is full of surprises.  Four weeks ago, our doctor informed us that Noreen’s new chemo was doing amazingly well. After three months, the cancer was reduced 75 percent. Tears everywhere.
AND – after the next chemo blast Noreen could be “cancer-free’ for four months to a year. So Nor took the chemo last week – Abraxane. The side-effects were bad – bone pain, headaches, and the mouth sores returned. They lasted the entire week, which is unusual.

The doctors set up tests including a brain scan. The results shocked Noreen to the core. The cancer had, in fact, risen, and the tumors are now more extensive than when we began the first chemo.  The liver has tumors again, but the brain is clear.

Bottom line:  Noreen is not cancer-free, and we’re going to try another chemo called Eribulin.  It is a promising new chemo (FDA approved) with the potential to help many women who feel they are in dire straits. It disrupts cell division from multiplying by targeting DNA  to prevent new cell growth. It has fewer side effects, and the infusion takes minutes instead of hours.

As her husband I feel trapped – unable to do anything.  Noreen is as wonderfully strong as she is devastated.

I have no idea from  where she pulls her strength.    She gets much of it by being surrounded by her girl friends and her family.  And you who read these blogs.  She thanks you for your loving support and promises to face this new challenge and promises to fight. There is no giving in for Noreen. Her determination to overcome this ridiculous disease knows no bounds.

I love you and will always be by your side as you come out a winning survivor.

Noreen Fraser is living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is co-founder of STAND UP TO CANCER and co-produced the TV show, which raised 100 million dollars for cancer research.  Noreen went on to create the Noreen Fraser Foundation to raise money and awareness for women's cancer research. The 'Men for Women Now' program enlists men to ask the women they love to make appointments for their mammogram and pap smear.  Noreen can be reached at noreen@noreenfraserfoundation.org and followed on Twitter @noreenfraser.