The Pendulum

When I first got sick, physician it totally came out of no where and it was a crazy whirlwind that we had to catch up with and get my health under control. Luckily we were able to do so and the pendulum swung back the other way, the chemo working great and I was feeling good! During that time, I always feared what it would be like if and when the pendulum would swing back towards illness again and how hard or fast. Clearly this is what I am going through right now and it’s just as hard and fast as I always feared it would be. First the brain metastasis and now more complications last night! I started bleeding vaginally again heavily yesterday afternoon so we ended up going to urgent care. Turns out they couldn’t really do anything to stop the bleeding because they couldn’t access inside my vagina where the tumor is (sorry TMI) so they sent me home and it seems like a new plan would be to radiate my vagina/pelvis because there is a sizable mass in there causing pain and now bleeding. We still don’t know what our overall systematic plan is but it seems like if we can get these urgent issues under control we can make more of a plan. Oy vey. I wouldn’t wish any of this on anyone and again I’ll take all the prayers I can get to get the pendulum going back the other way. I know that eating like this is helping because my vital signs (aside from slightly low blood count were good last night):

I’m completely addicted to this kimchi that I’ve been buying at the health food store by this brand Real Pickles from Massachusettes.

So to go back to my Reiki experience, Ellen, the Reiki master came over on Friday to initiate me into the practice and teach me about the 15 self-reiki positions. It was so wonderful to meet her in person and it gave me a sense of confidence in being able to heal myself with this powerful tool! Unfortunately, I was in some pain but we managed to work around that and she even brought me some eggs from the chickens she raises upstate! How amazing! Later that evening I was in a lot of pain and did self-reiki on myself and it really worked! Now I have to get this bleeding to stop. She gave me a few books to read as well. One that is about the Hawaiian woman who popularized reiki in the US and another called Love, Medicine and Miracles that I am eager to read. Check out my official certificate!!!

I’m not sure if I mentioned this molecular cellular supplementation that Ellen suggested I drink because it’s helped her so much along with other people fighting cancer so I’ve started drinking it:

Here’s a link to their site and also to a fun video that shows how it works. I will seriously try anything right now! I love you all so much! Oh yeah, a totally random request if you are up for it! Do you use Spotify? An iTunes playlist could work too! Either way, I’d be happy to receive some upbeat, happy, soulful playlists to lift my spirits and help when I am in a lot of pain and stuff. Thanks in advance! Yesterday we bought a christmas tree and are going to decorate it today!

Steve will be here on Weds (YAYAYAYAY!) and a bunch of my LA friends will be around too! Can’t wait to see everyone. xoxo Lauren

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Brain Update and Reiki Revolution

Hello my dearest readers. I’m sure you’ve been waiting for an update and I’ve been so busy I haven’t been able to give you one and this is going to have to be quick because even now I don’t have a ton of time. This morning has already been a little rough because I woke up with heavy bleeding (sorry TMI) which is scary but it seems to have slowed a little and I’ve told my docs so will see what happens. Yesterday was intense day where I met with more docs about radiation for the brain metastases. So the plan is to get three days of radiation starting next week which takes about 6 days to set up so they can target it to the exact points where they need to. They said it will have minimal long term effects on my brain function and they were very confident that it work to would get rid of the mini cluster of tumors which are actually at the top of my head. So I guess I was wrong when I assumed that having brain metastasis meant that you were doomed. So that is good news! I got an additional hour long brain MRI yesterday for them to map out precisely where to do the radiation and they make this cool mold of your head. Some of the sounds in the MRI machine sounded like the beginning of a Franz Ferdinand song and last night we were joking that someone should make “Music for MRIs, viagra sale ” Brian Eno style. Hahaha. But Sloan really blew me away yesterday with their coordination and excellent patient care. I am so grateful to be under their care at least for part of my treatment.  Oh yeah, viagra want to hear something insane? If you get one day radiation (which I will not do) they have to make sure your head stays very still and they actually have to bolt a frame into your skull!!!! How awful does tht sound? Initially I was hoping to get one day radiation to speed along the process but now that I know that, cialis sale I’d much prefer the 3-day even if we have to wait to next week to start!!! I also got a regular CT scan of my chest, pelvis and abdomen yesterday to see what else is going on in my body because I’ve been having this terrible side pain for about a week. I’m pretty terrified to find out the results but hopefully nothing critical is going on inside. Unfortunately, we will have to wait at least 10 days after radiation before starting systematic treatment like chemo or any other medicine and I probably won’t be able to join any clinical trials because you usually have to wait 4 weeks post-radiation to join a trial and we just don’t have that kind of time! But it’s all up the air and we are trying to figure out what to do. First things first is get rid of the brain mets and we’ve now got a plan for that so that is good!

But in other news, something amazing has happened. My college friend Rebecca introduced me to her Reiki Master, Ellen, who lives in the Catskills. We spoke on Sunday for over an hour and she told me her amazing story of curing herself of Ovarian cancer with 20 hour Reiki marathons once a week where a group of people hand their hands on her for 20 hours straight. Pretty unbelievable. She is an amazing person who has worked for 30 years with Reiki including in both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. So on Sunday, a student of Ellen’s named Michael came over and gave me Reiki and he also came the next two days. I cannot tell you how amazing the experience has been for me. Even from the first day, I felt this sense of calm that I’ve never fully felt. And during the treatment with Michael I felt this confidence that I’ve never felt before about how I WILL recover from this. Plus, I felt so connected into this new community of people who want to help me out of a pure sense of community and love for others. When Ellen and I were talking one day she said that I have a lot of good friends in my life and new ones too. I said I felt very lucky and she said, it’s not really luck, it’s karma. And that made so much sense to me. I know that I put tons of love and support in the world and now I have to just receive it back from people like Ellen, Rebecca, Michael and of course all of you! I have received so many wonderful emails and messages and it has really been a huge source of comfort for me so thank you for reaching out. Apologies if I haven’t had time to respond to you directly but please know that I feel your love deeply right now and am making good use out of it! So tomorrow Ellen is driving down from the Catskills to initiate me in the practice so that I can perform self-Reiki and also teach my friends and family to help. She said the cumulative effect is very powerful. Well, I think I have to run because Michael will be here any moment to give me Reiki! Hooray. But before I go, here is a drawing I made the other night.

I love you all out there so much and thanks for your support! xoxo Lauren

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Let Me Paint You a Picture

Hello my dearest readers. Well, buy cialis my biggest fear has materialized. As part of the screening for the drug trial I asked them to do a brain MRI because of the weird headache I have been feeling. Unfortunately, see the scan revealed a 2cm tumor in the sac that surrounds my brain. I’m glad its not in my brain but this is not exactly good news. To my comfort, cheap the doc as Mass General was not super negative about it. He said it was a hiccup to deal with on the way to getting me back on a clinical trial or possibly chemo. He had arranged for me to meet with docs up there about some kind of radiation but instead we opted to come back to New York and meet with doctors at Sloan. Leading up to finding out the news, I was a nervous wreck. I have never been more terrified, anxious and tense in my entire life. But after the news, I have been graced with an overwhelming sense of calm that I did not expect and desperately needed to feel. Maybe it’s that I did all the worrying I could possibly do and now we just have to deal with it. Everyone says how positive I am but I don’t feel that I have actually been so positive since finding the news of the PET scan a few weeks ago. But I am definitely back on track. I owe a lot to my Mom who is always positive that I will make it through this, my dad for texting me pictures of my stuffed animals, my brother’s upbeat outlook, Steve’s smile and countless other people (basically YOU for reading this). I also cannot believe how organized and resourceful I am in terms of my medical care. Let me paint you a picture. My scan was supposed to be on Thursday but the only time we could get was 8pm and unfortunately they asked me not to use my new port until at least Friday so they had to try to access my veins. I had to go in for blood work as part of screening on Thursday morning so they thought it would best to leave a plastic IV thing in my vein for the day so I wouldn’t have to get stuck again at night especially because the IV specialist at the MRI office would be long gone by 8pm leaving only the techs to insert the IV. So to my dismay, the IV they left in my hand all day (which was pretty darn uncomfortable in addition to being sore from the port surgery) clotted so they couldn’t use it and the MRI techs tried to get an IV in twice before I refused any more sticks! So they got me an appointment for Friday at 10am. So I didn’t get the call from the doctor until 3:30pm on Friday leaving us very little time to make plans. But somehow in the span of an hour and half, I managed to get Sloan to rally for me and get me appointments on Monday with two doctors, I got the MRI imaging on a disc and picked it up (something that usually takes at least several days) and also picked up a prescription for steroids to reduce the inflammation of the new tumor in my head. It helped that we were staying in a hotel literally right next to the hospital but still I can’t stress enough how hard all that is to pull together so I have to pat myself on the back. Good job resourceful Lauren! Haha. So in addition to meeting with the docs at Sloan on Monday we are going to call Fox Chase about the immunotherapy drug Ipilimumab which I can now pronounce at lightning speed! I could probably even do it and chew gum at the same time (not that I chew gum…). IP-PILL-LU-MU-MAB. Try it for yourself! It’s kind of satisfying to say actually, especially if you can say it fast!

Anyway, I want to go back to my renewed spirit and sense of calm. I KNOW that this is what I need right now the MOST in order to heal. I have not meditated or chanted for the past few days and I plan on increasing the frequency and duration and am also reading a book on healing energies that I think will be useful. I’ve read in books or on blogs about this peace and gratitude that can come with a cancer diagnosis and I’ve felt it at moments along the way but I now feel it intensely. I also have read that in order to have any kind of spontaneous remission, a profound shift in one’s outlook on life and emotional health is required and I believe that I am now having this transformation. Over the past months, I have felt regretful about some of the decisions I have made and harbored unnecessary stress that I know is harmful to the body. I have held grudges or felt negative towards people from my past and suddenly any hint of those feelings is now gone. Let me paint you another picture. The day after I heard about the PET scan a few weeks ago, Steve had just arrived and we decided to go to PS1. On the way there on the subway and at PS1 itself I saw a couple people I know from grad school and I cowardly dodged them (one time unsuccessfully…haha) because I just didn’t want to deal and in general always fear running into people in NYC. But these two people are very nice and were not worth avoiding. So then I got my payback later in the day from God or whoever (if you hear me talk about God now I hope you weird you out. I have been praying just like I asked all of you to do too!). Anyway, I was at dinner with Steve and some friends at this place in Greenpoint and at the end of our meal, I went to brush my teeth (of course) and I saw someone from grad school that I didn’t always get along with at the bar and my friend George was coming out of the bathroom so I told him about it and he asked if I wanted to wait for me but I said I would be OK. When I got out of the bathroom, I saw that he was not at the bar anymore but instead was being seated at the table next to us!!! We had already paid so George was able to bring my credit card to receipt to sign along with my coat and bag. So I escaped! But now, today, with this new feeling, I would gladly sit down next to him and have a conversation. No need to run away! This feels huge to me even if it just sounds like petty grad school antics. I feel a release from the negativity I experienced during grad school and instead feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the experience because of how much I learned and how it made me grow as a person. It may not have been fun and I may not want to be a graphic designer but it was an invaluable experience. And it led me on the path to go to LA and find a joyous albeit interrupted life there where I met Steve, Maura, Abe, Mindy, Leah and my other dearest friends out there. I wouldn’t undo that for a anything and I pray everyday to return to the land of palm tress and the Silver Lake Reservoir a healthier, gracious and wiser person. Or if I don’t make it back in body, I know I’ll be there in my spirit. Maybe I’ll be one of those crane birds that sits on the reservoir. Sorry, didn’t mean to go there but it happens.

Oh yeah, I’ll leave you with one more power punched shot of positivity! Yesterday, when I found out about the brain stuff, I realized that I keep hitting these incredibly unusual odds. First, the odds of getting this kind of aggressive cervical cancer is very rare, way way less than 1%. Next, getting a brain metastasis usually occurs in lung, breast and other cancer and only occurs in cervical about 0.6 to 1% of the time. So, I’m guessing that my odds at survival are somewhere in that percentile but if I keep on this track, I think I have a good shot at it! Right??? Three for three maybe? This drug Ipilimumab has a lot of potential and the studies suggest it’s working in HPV related cervical cancer so let’s get that drug into my newly placed power port ASAP!!! Yeah!!!!! Finally, I ordered this as a present to myself so I thought I’d share. Rilakkuma is my bestie! I think I’ll wear it with a turtleneck channel my beloved Nana who took care of me growing up. She always wore sweaters like this with turtlenecks and long necklaces. Oh how I miss her so! Love to you all and thanks for all your prayers, messages and support! xoxo Lauren

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Here We Go

So I don’t have a lot of time but I wanted to give you a quick update. Things have continued to be incredibly overwhelming and I don’t know how I am surviving all this but I am. Thank you to everyone who has told me they are praying for me. I really appreciate it! So we met with the Sloan doc on Monday (after waiting 2.5 hours!!!) who told us that they didn’t have any trials open for me at this time. And I told him about the trial at Mass General and he told me to do it. I started to ask him about all the different trials out there and how we were struggling to figure out which one was the best one to start with and he urged me to start the trial at Mass General. He was speaking to me on a personal/human level and told me that if I waited and did more research or tried to get into another trial that I would be hurting myself. He said that he has seen it many times and cautioned me against it. So that is what we have decided to do. The hard part for me is that over the weekend I found this trial that seems perfect for me because it’s an immunotherapy drug called Ipilimumab (who comes up with these names?) that is specifically for advanced cervical cancer at Fox Chase in Philadelphia. But to try to do that drug first would mean waiting at least another 2-3 weeks because of all the paperwork, viagra insurance and screening process involved in joining a trial. I wish I wish I wish I had contacted Fox Chase at same time I contacted Mass General but I didn’t so we have to go from here. The doc at Sloan kept saying how it didn’t matter which one I start first and my plan now is to get everything in the works at Fox Chase so if we decide to switch, view we will be ready to do so. And it seems like it’s harder to secure a spot in a PI3K trial (which is the one at Mass General) and there is no issue with getting a space at Fox Chase. I feel lucky that I have two options that are cutting edge and will hopefully save my life! Over the weekend while doing research I read too many negative sounding stastistics/prognosis for my disease and it got me into a really freaked out headspace. We also decided to see the new Coen brothers movie “Inside Llewyn Davis” which I DO NOT recommend. I just assumed I would like it because it seemed to be getting good reviews and they are my fave directors but it was so depressing and dreary with hardly any storyline or interesting characters. One thing I did learn about over the weekend is that Black Cumin seeds are supposedly good for curing cancer (especially cervical) so I got some supplements and the actual seeds too:

I had some crippling pain on Sunday that required me to take lots of narcotics and luckily the pain has subsided since then. I have no idea if its because I started taking the cumin seeds. I have to stop now because of the trial which is a bummer but I did ask about it so maybe they will let me start taking them again. I also can still eat them as food so I asked Rachel to make a curry with them in it yesterday!

So I’m about to go to Sloan to get that port catheter thing put into my chest so my veins can take a break and then, get this, we have to drive to Boston after so that I can be there at Mass General at 10am so they can draw my blood as part of the screening process. I never thought I would be traveling after surgery but this is the crazy life I am living right now and I ain’t got many choices. Before I go, I want to share with you a ridiculous and somewhat terrifying picture of myself from last night. I decided to have Matt shave my head again since it was falling out and getting spotty so we thought it would be funny to give me a mohawk. I sent it to Steve and told him I will be pretty again one day! Love to you all! Fingers crossed! xoxo Lauren

 

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Oh Boy

Hello. I don’t know where to begin. I’ve been meaning to write all week but just couldn’t find the time. Things have been very overwhelming and exhausting. So maybe I’ll jump back all the way to Thanksgiving to share some nice pictures from when Steve was here. Thanksgiving dinner at my Aunt and Uncle’s house was so nice. Look how pretty and delicious my place setting was!

My uncle had a banjo jam session and showed Steve his collection.

While we were in DC we ate at this amazing cafe at the American Indian Museum called Mitsitam that has food from different regions.

When we got back to NYC I cooked up a yummy soba Otsu meal with my buddies Sam and Aurora.

Then Steve had to leave and I totally cried (just like I did last time he visited in July). But I had a busy week to distract me including going to Boston to meet with that doctor at Mass General. He was a very nice doctor and looked to be about my age if not even a little younger. He told us that there is an opening for a PIK3 Kinase Inhibitor trial for me so they are holding the spot for me until Monday when I will make my final decision. We are meeting with the doctor at Sloan again on Monday to find out if they have an opening on the trial here which is for a drug called KPT 330. Here’s a link to the trial at Sloan which sounds really cool to me. It sounds like an interesting mechanism for disrupting cancer cell growth and I’m eager to learn more about it on Monday. The PIK3 trial at Mass General sounded encouraging because they told me that head and neck cancer patients have been responders to it and those kinds of cancers are the same cell type (squamous cell) as cervical. But my biggest concern is that once you join a PIK3 trial you become ineligible for other ones and there are so many! So how in the heck am I supposed to know if this is the right one for me to try? My mom and I have been overwhelmed and frustrated at trying to figure this out because the doctors really don’t give you any guidance on what to try first. Plus they are invested in their own trial and want you to join that one. And there are tons of trials going on all over the world and I am only considering two right now because they are nearby. What if there’s one in Germany that would be perfect for me? There does not seem to be an impartial consultant or patient advocate to help us figure out what to do which is incredibly frustrating. The clinical trials website is not easy to navigate and the doctor in Boston told us that it’s very rarely updated so most likely out of date. So we are consulting with a few friends who are more connected to this field to get their opinion. Another aspect that makes me a little disillusioned is the fact that this is all run by the pharmaceutical industry which I don’t think has my best interest in mind if you know I mean. Dollar Bills!!! Plus, patient this may just be the stress but for the past few days I’ve had this weird headache that has made me neurotically assume that I have a brain metastases (i.e. the cancer spread to my brain) which aside from dying is probably my biggest fear (probably because it would lead to dying…sorry, cure so morbid). I read that it’s very rare for any gynecological cancer to spread to the brain but I wonder if I should get it checked out for my sanity. Plus, I read that if you have brain metastases you are ineligible for most clinical trials. Well, let’s cross our fingers I’m just imagining all this. In an attempt to cover all the bases, I’ve also been putting some of my research into alternative therapies again including this book that my acupuncturist recommended:

It seems really cool. It’s part of Taosim called the Tao of Revitalization. And last night I was reading this book Steve told me about called Cancer-Free that recommends a specific regimen of supplements to boost your immune system to get rid of cancer. One of the recommendations is this thing called the Budwig diet where you mix cottage cheese with flaxseed oil. Who knew? I think it’s important to feel empowered by these alternative medicine regimens because dealing with these clinical trials feels like shooting in the dark and that’s not the most positive or encouraging feeling when you are fighting cancer. I’m already following the diet the book recommends which is gluten and dairy free and mostly vegan. So I know I’m doing something right! Aside from all this stress, I’ve been having a moderate amount of pain which has been very draining. I finally took some Advil/Aleve last night and was happy to see that it helped because I really don’t want to go back on the opiods unless I absolutely have to. But this morning my pain feels OK and during the night I didn’t have much either. Ok well, I’m off to start the day. Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to ask you all. If you have any religious friends or family, could you please ask them to pray for me? That would be so awesome! I’ll take all the healing prayers I can get! Thank you! xoxo Lauren

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Operation Save My Ass

Hello again. So I did not coin the phrase “Operation Save My Ass.” It comes from Kris Carr, cialis the amazing cancer activist, foodie, and goofball, who I’ve been a big fan of these days. Anyhoo, the past week has been incredibly overwhelming and challenging for me but I am hanging in there. Steve’s presence has helped me stay afloat during my hardest moments. So on Monday we met with the doctor in the clinical trials department at Sloan. He was very informational and matter of fact and didn’t have the most encouraging tone in terms of what my options are. He explained to me that these genetically targeted drugs are so new (only a year old) that they really have no idea how or why they work yet. He said that some mutations are clearly drivers of the cancer while others seem to be passengers. In other words, the drugs work by inhibiting certain gene markers and if the targeted gene is a “passenger,” inhibiting it would not stop the growth of the cancer. He said that my genetic mutation (which can occur in any kind of cancer) has had lukewarm response to the various targeted drugs and so it’s unclear whether it’s an important mutation to target. But it’s obviously worth trying. He explained that with clinical trials, you keep trying them until you find one that works and then you could stay on the drug indefinitely. He said there is a trial at Sloan for my mutation but there is a long waiting list (which he added me to). He also told me about another trial he thought would be a good option for me even though it was not targeting my genetic mutation because one other patient with cervical cancer responded to it. Yes, that’s ONE other person. So that’s what we are going on here? I guess it’s better than no one. That trial also had a waiting list but he thought he would likely be able to get me on it in 2-3 weeks which is when the chemo would be fully out of my system. You can’t start a trial while chemo is still in your system. He also recommended that I send my tissue sample from my diagnosis to a private company that will test me for an additional 236 mutations that will help point him in the right direction for what other clinical trials to try. He also recommended that I register with other hospitals that have clinical trials going on in case something opens up somewhere else. He referred me to a doctor at Mass General in Boston who I have an appointment with next week. I have a really good feeling about the doctor in Boston based on how incredibly kind and encouraging his scheduling nurses were over the phone. One of them told me that the doctor specializes in helping advanced cancer patients find targeted trials that work for them. Another factor is my wisdom teeth which I mentioned to the doctor on Monday. He told me I should get them out before I start the trial because the last thing I want is to have something go wrong with my teeth that would cause me to get kicked off the trial. But my teeth have been more under control lately and theoretically shouldn’t flare up if I am not on chemo. But I am so fucking sick of brushing my teeth after ever single thing I eat and would enjoy having the peace of mind that they are out of my life forever. Unlike the cancer, which is difficult to eradicate, eliminating my teeth and any potential issues would be one less thing to worry about. But I am so anxious to start a clinical trial ASAP since it’s very unnerving to know that you have cancer actively growing in your body. Plus, I’ve been having some spotting/bleeding down there that makes me super anxious (sorry for the TMI). So there’s a lot up in the air and I am impressed if you have read this far!

After we met with the doctor on Monday, I was overwhelmed with fear. In my head, I was terrified that I wouldn’t make it the 2-3 weeks until I could get on the trial. I actually had to ask my doctors this question and they told me of course I would and that I should just be careful crossing the street. So I’ve calmed down a bit about that but the whole fear of death issue is ya know, kind of right in front of my face right now. But again, Steve along with a vegan, gluten-free brownie sundae at Candle 79 acted a potent antidote to this fear:

The clinical trials doctor explained that when you start a trial, it’s like a full-time job because you have to be there 2-3 days a week for 8-9 hours a day so they can monitor you very closely and see how the drug is interacting with your body. But even just making all these new appointments, registering at new hospitals and getting my medical files sent to the different hospitals over the past few days has felt like a full-time job too! Anyhoo, I am feeling more relaxed and calm today and tomorrow my parents, Steve and I are going to DC to celebrate Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family. I am so excited to see everyone. They are all so sweet and are making healthy recipes I’ve requested plus, gluten-free, vegan sweets! I know what I am grateful for! Talk soon! xo Lauren

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A New Chapter

Hello my dearest readers. So I have some news to share with you. My latest scan results are what I like to call a 4-in-one deal. What I mean is that there are four possible outcomes from scan results and I got all four for the price of one! So the four outcomes include shrinkage (in the tumors in my pelvis), buy no change (the mets in my lungs), patient signs of activity (in my uterus/cervix), viagra sale and new areas of development (lesions on my spleen). Obviously, I was not thrilled to hear this news but somehow I kind of knew it was coming. Based on the weird stuff I’ve been feeling, I had a sense there was some kind of activity down below that might not be good. I know it may seem weird to joke about the results but I think it helps me cope with it right now. I was joking with my Dad that the cancer is clearly stupid by going to my spleen which is a non-essential organ. I visualize the cancer in my body as riding a subway or Euro-rail train and then they are like “Hey! this looks like a nice place! Let’s get off here!” An overhead announcement beams: “You have arrived at Lauren’s Republic of Spleen! Now Get the Hell Out of Here!!!!! And take your other friends who are shacking up in the lungs with you too!!” Both of my doctors are recommending that I stop chemo (thank god!) and try to join a clinical trial for a drug that targets the genetic mutation of my cancer which is PIK3CA. There are apparently several different trials going on at Sloan right now for this mutation. I already have an appointment tomorrow afternoon to meet with a new doctor at Sloan Kettering in the Phase 1 Clinical Trials Department. I only know a few things about clinical trials but starting now I will know a hell of a lot more! What I do know is that there are three phases: Phase 1 tests for safety, Phase 2 tests for efficacy, and Phase 3 tests to see if it works better than what is currently on the market. I have often felt like a guinea pig before but now I will really be one! It’s a little scary to join a drug trial where they are just testing the safety and they don’t even know if it will work. But it’s also kind of exciting to be a part of cutting edge research that could help save many future people down the road. I read this interesting NYTimes article a few weeks ago about cancer patients chasing after drug companies to get access to drugs that aren’t approved yet and it was informative but also a bit scary (as usual). I see this new development as a call to action for me to start doing research on cutting edge drugs/treatments and I will start an excel spreadsheet to keep track of anything that could possibly help me.

After hearing the news on Friday I was obviously a little depressed, scared and angry. I was walking around the house like a pirate with Turret’s syndrome muttering curses usually including the words cancer, stupid, and spleen. Right after I talked to my doctor I got this tea bag aphorism:

When I first read it, I interpreted inner self to mean my actual cells and organs and thought “boy do I wish that was true.” But I know I should interpret it as my mind and spirit because being happy and at peace in my mind might be the only way to truly overcome this. I have been good at keeping up with my meditation practice but maybe I need to practice even more! Multiple times a day!

Steve arrived yesterday morning which was the most perfect timing ever! We had a fun day yesterday which included meeting Minnie Mouse:

Going to the Mike Kelly show at PS1 to see art made from Popples and other stuffed animals!!!

And eating delicious food of course! Today we are going to see Book of Mormon!!!! Pretty exciting! So I am as usual trying to stay positive and not freak out and Steve is helping me with that! I’ll keep y’all posted on the new developments in my treatment plan as well as al the fun stuff Steve and I will do this week. Ciao! xo Lauren

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