How does one get kicked off a clinical trial? Apparently, you take one tumour that is 13mm diameter in size and over the period of 8 months you measure it every 8 weeks via a CT scan. That one little tumour grew to 16mm, then 17mm, then shrunk back to 16mm and now it’s 19mm. The difference between 13mm and 19mm is over 30% and that is all it takes to keep me from continuing on the trial.
My health is fine… the many side effects, I have managed well. I have continued to work 2 days a week. I see the psychologist, the physio and the exercise physiologist, every few weeks. Most days, I knit or learn to spin my own yarn. I try to walk every day or get on the exercise bike. I drink smoothies and turmeric lattes to boost my immune system. I’m doing a lot of the right things.
I do get tired… I do get moody… I do stress when I should relax. Each day is a work in progress, but I try to do something nourishing for myself.
Coming off the clinical trial has been a shock, but it doesn’t define who I am or where my health is currently. It just means that I can’t continue to take extra medication (or possibly a placebo). I will continue on the “standard treatment” of Letrozole (hormone inhibitor tablet, daily), Goserelin (hormone inhibitor injection, monthly) and Denosumab (bone strengthener injection, monthly).
In the new year, I will have a new oncologist and a new routine – visits to the hospital every 6 weeks and CT scans every 12 weeks. It will be nice to have less tests and a bit more freedom. I’m not sure what the next step in my treatment should be, but will consider all options (including swapping hospitals). Whatever happens, I have to learn not to get too comfortable with it…