Most days, I am steadfast in my belief that I will be on this planet for a long time to come. Today is not one of those days.
This article on PARP Inhibitors is the optimistic one. I’m not going to post the links to the Jan. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine articles on the PARP Inhibitor (BSI-201) – they are tough to read and have greatly affected me this weekend – me and my family. Estimates in those articles is that the PARP would only prolong my life by 5-12 months. That’s a best-case scenario.
That said, I am finally and for once in my life happy to be BRCA 1 positive, as THIS is the population of breast cancer patients for which the PARP Inhibitors are the most effective. THIS is the population of breast cancer victims who, along with a triple-negative tumor receptor status — stand the best chance of beating this monster and living for a long, long time. THIS is me; my scientific, DNA profile.
I know I am far from a statistic. And that is why I am trying right now NOT to read some of the numbers — 15 percent chance of survival per my staging, certain number of months per the PARP study, etc. I don’t need to know this right now. Maybe not ever. Cancer survival is a mental as well as a physical task and I need not flood my most imaginative mind with images of the worst-case scenario.
Give me just a minute. I’ll pick myself back up in no time flat and I’ll be outside sledding down the hill in our back yard with Don and Theo. Just as I did yesterday. Thirty-seven trips down the sled run on a small blue saucer, screaming, spinning, yelling “look! no hands!” as if I were riding a roller coaster.
Then again, maybe that’s exactly what I am doing.
Give me just a minute.
— Amy Rauch Neilson