I was first diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer back in late 1997....this was a recurrence with mets to the bone, and a change from being er-/pr- to weakly positive to estrogen and strongly positive to progesterone. I went through 9 24-hour courses of Taxol spread over a 9 month period, followed by radiation, having my ovaries removed and going on a variety of aromatase inhibitors (I did arimedex, then upped it to aromasin).
In 2009, I began to have some issues which didn't appear to be breast cancer...only in 2010, I found I had new mets to many bones, 14 years after kicking it back. I went on Faslodex and zometa (failed), I did 9 courses of Abraxane, which left me with extreme neuropathy (I had had some neuropathy from Taxol, but no where near like this) and misc. other annoying side effects (I've become the tums queen). After 2 months, my markers started to rise...so they put me back on Tamoxifen which has had some success...I had tumor flare (from tumor markers in the 90s shooting up to 238) before they started coming down.....for 2 months.
I got the call yesterday that my tumor markers were back up to 279 and that I'm now waiting to get scheduled for a baseline scan and back into the chemo trenches.
Part of the fun stuff is that my husband was working for a small employer which self-insured their employees. After reporting in December that they were going to reduce their health care burden, and just after they got their year end report for health care benefit usage in the previous year, my husband, who was the sole developer of a product line which had been growing and doing very well bringing in millions of sales each year and who had only had glowing reviews with no previous reports or murmurs of disatisfaction...was called into an office and told that he was no longer needed. We were basically paid off (age and race discrimination could have been played here) with a years severance and a year's insurance (which was smarter for us to take and run than to try to fight it)....so now, I'm playing the OMG, what now game...
There's talk of Xeloda...and some other chemo drugs. He seems ready to put me on Afinator/Aromasin as soon as that combo is approved...although from what I've been hearing, that might not be such a good idea.
Sheesh....what a mess!