Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Triple Negative Day..a year and a day later

Masked grandsons
TNBC day started 3-03-13 by the TNBC foundation to focus attention on this disease that represents 15-20% of breast cancer but a much higher percentage of breast cancer deaths. Unfortunately, it is not a single entity but a catchall phrase to describe breast cancers that lack receptors for estrogen, progestin, and  her2 limiting options severely for its treatment. When I was diagnosed with it in Sept 2008, it was not mentioned at all in the then current edition of Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book and the term had been only been used in the literature for about 2 years. My initial computer searches filled me with despair: deadly, untreatable, lethal, aggressive: all of this from the scientific literature. But as it turns out, all of these negative terms are relative: most people do survive early TNBC (defined as having not spread..mine was defined as locally advanced due to the tumor size and that it had quickly developed a 2nd tumor).

Still the term TNBC will not survive for long as certainly they will focus on a fourth receptor that can be targeted. Various candidates are in the works.

Have I mentioned how much I hate winter and this one in particular? Sub zero temps yesterday and today: ice storms in the East that caused my Stage 4 neighbor to delay his probably last chance to bask in the Caribbean sun. I ran on top of bumpy ice. It is a miracle I haven't fallen yet. Almost all of my friends have fallen so far and they haven't been running.

I visited yesterday Shanna and her children, so cute. It is special to be able to watch 5 babies progress through various stages of development at once. (born 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013). Yesterday I was trying to teach Tess to catch a football. She was doing well. Despite not being 2, she can identify all the letters of the alphabet.


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