Firstly to the cynics out there .... I am not dieing .... dying just yet!
A visit to my oncologist on Wednesday evening revealed that my weight is plummeting 47.8 kilos at the moment and dropping. So Twiggy eat your heart out!! I am going down hill and yes slowly dying ... being in my 12th year living with pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma and I am writing the truth as mesothelioma cancer once it gets a control there is no stopping it. My tumours in the linings are gradually joining up ... basically forming like a lump of hard concrete crushing my organs and my breathing until literally my last breath! Eventually pain will be unbearable and it will be just a matter of time then before I die.
HOWEVER I have been thrown a lifeline! My oncologist has said there is a new drug PEMBROLIZUMAB available in Australia that hopefully will work in treating patients with malignant mesothelioma, a cancer of the linings around the lungs (Pleura) or abdomen (peritoneum). Monoclonal antibodies, such as pembrolizumab, work by blocking a protein called programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) which may stimulate an immune response and kill tumour cells.
My oncologist, Allan Zimet has said hopefully I will get 18 months maybe more time with having it, if I do not have it then I will die probably in a few weeks - simple as that.
Catch is - it is new and not on our free drug list so we will be up for quite a few thousand dollars with every dose, every 3 weeks (at this stage 3 doses with a scan in between each one).
There is excellent reading about this drug on clinicaltrials.gov
Pembrolizumab in treating patients with malignant mesothelioma
March 2015 - University of Chicago - phase 2 trial (not open to participant recruitment yet).
Last week another wonderful survivor of pleural mesothelioma in Australia and who is also seeing my oncologist, Mary Heddles started on this new drug, so far extreme fatigue has been her biggest side effect. Good luck Mary - looks like we will be on the trial together.
I will keep you informed. As Allan says - I am a responder to treatments!
This week it is Global Asbestos Awareness Week.
FACT 1: Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.FACT 2: Only 55 countries have banned asbestos. The United States and Canada are the only two industrial western nations not to ban asbestos.FACT 3: Top 4 asbestos producers reported by USGS in 2014 are: Russia (1,050,000), China (400,000), Brazil (291,000), Kazakhstan (240,000) *metric tons.FACT 4: More than 107,000 people die each year from asbestos-related diseases.FACT 5: While promising research continues, prevention remains the only cure for mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused diseases.
HAPPY EASTER/HAPPY PASSOVER TO ALL.
Enjoy your easter break.