My life as a lab rat was never intentional. It was a logical outgrowth of being diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2010. If I wanted to stay alive I might need to break some rules or make some new rules.
With initial treatment I started a clinical trial. It was Phase Three and not very daring. I was never to know if I was in the arm that got the additional biologic agent or not.
For twenty months I worked to qualify for my next clinical trial, a Phase One trial based at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. First I needed to fight for a surgery. Then I needed to stabilize my cancer while waiting for an open slot. I started in June 2013.
My next radical treatment was not courtesy of a clinical trial (please note: clinical trials take enormous effort and backing to run.) Instead I turned to the Bruckner Clinic having heard patients I most respected share their positive and detailed experiences. I had saved their reports until it was what I needed. Thank goodness for files! It was a daring low dose cocktail. Again, I had to travel to treatment at my own expense.
Now I enter my latest Phase One clinical trial. While I had heard rumblings about the theory behind it years prior, it was happenstance that a recruiting article for this trial entered my inbox just when I needed a new treatment approach. Within hours, I emailed an inquiry. That night I spent two hours on the phone with a Doctor on the team. I qualified. Now I needed to problem solve relocating my life to San Jose.
All my radical treatments have required travel and new homes. I am sick and on a limited income. How to manage? Below are a series of blog posts that show how I managed it. But stay tuned…I also intend to write a summary post that makes the information more easily available. If you are willing to build community and approach staying alive as an adventure, I can show you ways to relocate on a minimal budget.
Page Under Construction – expect updates
Immunology – Courtesy of University of Pennsylvania and a whole lot of perseverance, I entered a Phase One Immunology trial in the Spring of 2013. Immunology is a promising and still far from understood treatment hope. It is not a fast fix – when and if it works, it seems to take time, complete with discouraging moments. My cancer was not well behaved after immunology but every treatment since then continues to seek how to turn my immunology on.
You can read more about immunology here: http://livinglydying.com/autologous-oc-dc-vaccine-and-ovarian-cancer/
And my personal journey with a long distance immunology trial in the below sequence of posts: http://livinglydying.com/autologous-oc-dc-vaccine-and-ovarian-cancer/, http://livinglydying.com/2014/04/17/cone-of-happiness/, http://livinglydying.com/2014/03/25/goodbye-avistan-and-final-scan-results/, http://livinglydying.com/2014/03/02/philly-trek-14-treatment-10-performance-art/, http://livinglydying.com/2014/01/13/immunotherapy-rocks/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/11/03/philly-trek-10-treatment-6/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/10/02/end-of-study-results-great-decent-or-just-sigh/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/09/29/home-again/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/08/25/a-headache-here-and-a-headache-there/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/08/15/superpatient-in-training-the-philly-chronicles-trek-7/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/07/24/the-philly-chronicles-trek-6/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/06/20/a-dream-team-for-everyone/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/06/13/the-first-treatment/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/06/08/the-philly-chronicles-trek-four-part-a/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/05/27/the-philly-chronicles-trek-three-done/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/05/10/the-philly-chronicles-a-start/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/04/10/big-news-story-immune-therapy-offers-hope-in-ovarian-cancer/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/04/06/to-philly-and-back/, http://livinglydying.com/2013/02/01/1st-press-release-on-my-upenn-trial/.
Bruckner Protocol – There is a small but mighty clinic in New York City powered by two amazingly dedicated and caring doctors – Dr. Howard Bruckner and Dr. Azi Hirschfeld. Bruckner Oncology is where advanced and unsuccessful cancer patients often end up. Many fly in for the every other week treatments of a low dose, long hour cocktail. Few arrive for a cure but all arrive having heard stories of the clinic’s ability to disappear or stabilize out of control cancer through their basic cocktail followed by personalized tinkering.
You can read more about Bruckner Oncology Here: http://www.bruckneroncology.com/
And my personal journey with the Bruckner Protocol in the below sequence of posts: http://livinglydying.com/2014/12/29/a-summary-shout-out-to-bruckner-oncology/, http://livinglydying.com/2014/07/07/off-to-the-bronx-riviera/, http://livinglydying.com/2014/06/30/my-own-steamroller/, http://livinglydying.com/2014/06/18/summer-2014-vacation-plans-take-shape/,
HEATT – http://www.verthermia.com/
You can read more about HEATT here: http://livinglydying.com/2015/01/06/getting-cooked-in-2015/
And my personal journey with the HEATT Clinical Trial in the below sequence of posts: (please note: my first treatment is slated for late January 2015.)