Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kicking Tykerb to the curb

And we're done.

Our first attempt to treat Anne-Marie's cancer is done and over.  A couple of weeks ago, Tykerb (the pill-form chemo treatment) made Anne-Marie break out in a rash all over.  This was not just any rash.  It was a rash that nearly incapacitated her for ten days.

After lowering the dosage three times, we figured that balance and harmony had been acheived and we could set a schedule for next couple of months.  We got the calendar all figured out.  Anne-Marie only had to go to Seattle Cancer Care every three weeks and take three chemo pills every night.

It took three or four days to realize her body was saying, "I don't think so."  By the time Anne-Marie quit taking Tykerb, the damage was done.  She had a rash all over her body that wouldn't go away and began to lose her hair.  Even though she quit taking the pills, the rash lingered on for another week.

Let's fast-forward from three weeks ago to today.  The doctor says that--putting aside the horrible side effects--the treatment was working.  The tumor has shrunk by about 30%.

The question is whether or not it was Tykerb or Herceptin (Anne-Marie's other treatment she gets at the clinic every third week) killing the cancer.  Dr. Korde is counting on Herceptin only to eliminate the tumor prior to surgery.  Because of this, the doctor is recommending doing Herceptin weekly (starting 9/6) instead of every three weeks.

We don't know how to work this out with our schedule yet, but there's probably more good news here than bad.

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