Thursday, November 29, 2007

HOPE?

The Ludwig Institute was working on this two years ago. It sounds like we are getting close. They may not be ready for a mass marketing of a breast cancer vaccine, but it MAY be available to help those of us WITH cancer now... and something so simple as using our own cancer cells and our own immune system to cure us...
Lord, hear our prayer...

Trials Underway For Breast Cancer Vaccine

Kellye Lynn

BALTIMORE (WJZ) ―

The cervical cancer vaccine advanced women's medicine and researchers at Johns Hopkins are working toward the same goal with breast cancer.

Clinical trials are underway right now for a vaccine that doctors hope will one day wipe out the killer disease. They tell Healthwatch reporter Kellye Lynn, that the first phase of the trials look promising.

"We have designed a vaccine from cancer cells themselves," explains Hopkins oncologist Leisha Emens. "While we can cure some patients, all too often breast cancer relapses, and once it comes back, it is incurable. So, what we would like to do is find a different way to treat cancer."

Susan Marangi is one of nearly 50 women taking part in Baltimore based clinical trials.

She was first diagnosed with stage one breast cancer 19 years ago. She's had chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, none of which worked long term.

"It finally became extremely clear to me that I was going to die," she tells WJZ's Lynn. "Traditionally everybody would say if you can make it five years, you're home free."

Marangi was cancer free for 11 years. Now, she's terminal, with stage four breast cancer and she's giving her body up for research.

"Knowing that the current treatment was only going to be 20 or 30 percent effective, it's not in my makeup to wait for something to happen."

As part of the clinical trials, Marangi is given the vaccine to help the body defeat the cancer. Dr. Emens says it works much like the recently approved cervical cancer vaccine.

"The problem with cancer is because it comes from within you, our immune system says, 'So what. I have seen this before.' Our idea is to re-educate the immune system to recognize tumor cells more like an infection, like a cold virus, and to seek out and to destroy cancer."

The vaccine is injected under the skin and is given with low doses of chemotherapy. Side effects are minimal but the research is in the early stages and years away from hitting the market. Still, Dr. Emens says the potential is staggering.

"I believe eventually we can, prevent the disease from happening in the first place."

Susan Marangi believes if the vaccine doesn't help her, it will save somebody.

"When they first came out with the polio vaccine, somebody had to be the first person it worked on," she tells WJZ. "I don't know if I will be that person, but I am sure somebody will be that first person that this particular vaccine works on."

(© MMVII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rest Well Gentle Jacque



Readers of this blog know our friend Jacque. She posted here often and was a kind and loving support to anyone she came into contact with. Whether here or on breastcancer.org, if you had a fear, worry or question she would be there for you. She may not have known the answer, but she let you know she was holding your hand and she just simply understood.

Jacque was very dear to me and to so many others. Her death has come as such a shock. Just last week she was posting about buying new shoes and what her plans were for Thanksgiving and then on Thanksgiving morning she left this earth.

I find it hard to be thankful for anything when I think about Jacque no longer being with us. But I do know she would want me to find something... so I will be thankful that I had a chance to meet her. If not for breast cancer and the internet how else could a girl from New York meet a lovely mom from Nebraska? I am thankful for our blogs because we were able to share so much. I am thankful for breastcancer.org because that is how I first met this gentle, loving soul.

I am thankful that for the brief time I knew her, she made me feel like we had been friends forever.


Matt, Greg and Mark, she loved each of you so much and felt your love deeply. Thank you for being such a wonderful family and for including those of us here in cyberspace in the latest developments and arrangements.

If you knew how many people loved your mom and wife and we could somehow channel that love into a huge hug, you would feel the warmth and comfort that Jacque gave to each of us every day.

I will miss you Jacque. You are a beautiful angel now- I know this because you were a beautiful angel here on earth.

May God bless you all.

with great sadness,
gina

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What is wrong with the doll?


It is getting to be that time of the year again. And along with the holidays we are once again faced with the question that has plagued an entire generation of kids- What is wrong with the doll on the Island of Misfit Toys?

She has two legs, two arms, two pigtails, a cute face and outfit. She isn't a train with square wheels- or a water pistol that shoots jelly, I mean, come on, we all KNOW why they are there. But the doll?

I would have been happy with that doll if Santa brought her to me. I am sure my main doll, Gigi, would have said there was room enough for her on my twin bed. Lots of kids would want her. Why is she stuck with the mutant toys on that weird island run by a flying lion? Anyone ever ask just how normal it is to have an entire island run by a flying lion??

I feel like that doll inside. I feel there is nothing wrong with me. I think that I should be accepted and loved for who I am. I didn't ask to get a one way ticket to Cancerland. I want Rudolph to grab Yukon Cornelius and Dennis and come save me from this place. In fact, there are a lot of beautiful dolls here banished for no reason. Cancerland doesn't even have a Flying Lion running the joint.

Dolls of the world! Unite! Let us set sail out of Cancerland and reclaim our lives! There is nothing wrong with us inside. And we deserve a chance just like all the others.

This Christmas eve I am going to listen really hard. I will look for the red nose guiding Santa to get me the hell out of here.

I believe.
I believe.