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I am the sole survivor!


-Cheryl-

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Hello All,

I completed the trial today at Mary Crowley's Research Center. I am the only one left in the study. Others dropped out due to progression of disease or health problems. I don't know if that is a good thing. I was hoping for NED and only achieved stable. I am, on the contrary, quite grateful for that. No serious problems with the paclitaxel/carboplatin, except grade II neuropathy in my feet and low blood counts. Extra chemo has not proved to be beneficial, and could cause more harm than good.

Next week, they will test my blood for 4 proteins to see if I am a candidate for the Epimmune trial. The proteins, called HLA-A2 bond with molecules in your DNA to kick up your own body's immune response to target the cancer. Now, there have been complete responses, but usually it just extends survival by a signifigant amount of time. There are other immune therapies on the horizon, which I can do in the future, but this will keep me alive to try them hopefully. There should be no side effects to it. I get one shot a month over 6 months. Only 40 % of the population are born with the HLA-A2 proteins to participate. Many will be tested. I recommend others on this board testing their blood to see if they are carriers to participate. Everybody carries at least one protein. No chemo side effects, missed work, hair loss, or neuropathy!

I had a arnesp shot today due to low blood counts, but feel good considering.

Take Care,

Cheryl

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Cheryl,

Being the last one in the trial I would consider a blessing - must mean that your body is determined to fight this thing. I will be praying that you be a responder to the proteins.

Good to hear that the aranesp shot was started. I had them every two weeks during my chemo and it made me feel so much better and not so run down.

Wendy

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You won the ultimate challenge...too bad you don't get a Million dollars like they do on SURVIVOR, huh? I'd settle for stable and extended life for as long as it takes until something comes along to wipe your cancer away for good! That is my prayer!

The folks at MCMRC seem like good people, you are in good hands. I'm sending hugs and prayers.

Love,

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Hello Cheryl.....Your strength is obvious and will take you far into trials and treatments. Living in Texas is also a plus when considering clinical trials.....there are so many well-known advanced cancer centers in your area. Keep up the good fight. Your odyssey gives the rest of us hope in continuing on with our own battles. Thanks....

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Cheryl,

Stable is a really good thing. Congratulations on that and sticking with the trial. Now for the next step. I hope the proteins match up and that you get excellent results with this new trial. I really admire your attitude and to still be working is amazing to me. I hope you feel better soon (low blood counts) and get started with the new trial quickly.

Nina

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Cheryl:

This is good news. Stable allows you to keep looking for that "perfect treatment". It must say something too that you were the only one left in the trial, what did the docs say about that? You are one heck of a fighter and determined lady, dont let anyone try to take that from you!! It will carry you far.

Love,

Kim

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Cheryl -- this sounds to me like one of those times when it's great to be last!

The first time I met the wonderful Radiation Oncologist I see, he reminded me of all the people who came before me with this disease, and how their disease and treatments paved the way for us now, and how we will be doing the same for those who come after us. You are a true pioneer in that you are doing these things for your own survival, but are also providing valuable information so that someone else can benefit in the future.

To paraphrase something Maya Angelou says: We can't say "I am" without first saying "They were."

Di

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Cheryl, congratulations on being more of a survivor than ANYONE on reality TV. :D I hope you'll have those proteins that qualify you for the Epimmune trial, and that you'll have the best possible (complete!) response to that one, too. You're an inspiration. Go, Cheryl, go!

BeckyCW

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