Hey all -- it has been a few months since I have posted. I had to take a break from reading about cancer stories for a while, as I just coudn't mentally handle it for a while.
I'm 36 as of this part march. I had rectal cancer, ended up being stage 3C as the lymph nodes did not show anything pre-surgery. Post surgery it was in 9 of 38 lymph nodes. I had clean margins, but only within 1mm. Was recommended for 12 rounds of Folfox but I had cardiac arrest from the 5-FU on my 3rd round. I cheated death by surviving, but then had the paranoia of the cancer coming back since we know that stage of rectal cancer has high risk.
After extensive searching and flying from florida (where I live) to Duke, only to not get in, and then emailing tons of doctors from the clinical trial.gov website, I was able to get into one at the University of Pittsburgh. It is financially breaking, but every other week I fly up and get my last vaccination on Thursday. Thus far there are no side effects and no one in the trial has reported anything beyond mild fatigue. The trial was only for Stage 3 and Stage 4 post chemo that were in remission for a variety of cancer types. I've been feeling pretty good and after my last scan in the trial, July 6th, I will get my reversal scheduled. I'm really hoping this trial works and will have been worth all the time and money, esp since chemo is so risky for me.
On a side note, my dog got melenoma and the treatment for them is a vaccine. In dogs it is 70% effective and she had a super aggressive form and it appears to have worked. It sounded almost identical to what I am getting. I really believe vaccines are the way of the future for cancer and hopefully one day will ultimately lead to a cure.
M 35 yr
DX Rectal Cancer, 10/16 (symptoms Feb 2016)
Dx stage 2 - Surgery Oct 25 201 Loop ileo w/ j-pouch
Close margins within 1mm
9/38 lymph nodes involved on path / Stg IIIc,pT4, pN2 B, p.M0. MSS, K‐ras, NRAS, no mutation
Started Folfox - 3rd Treament, Dec 30th 2016 Cardiac Arrest - Lucky to be part of the 6% to survive!
S-ICD installed / Port Removed
Vaccine Clinical trial at UPMC - last shot June 2017
Reversal 8/1/17 - Praying this is it!