cycle 5 April 18, 2014

Finally on Monday, April 14, I received the 5th treatment of the study drug. I was two weeks out from the optimal range, but then I have never been in the optimal range. Platelets were still low (88,000); however, an amendment to the trial protocol lowered the threshold to 75,000, so I could have treatment. Plus, my doctor decided to hold the carbopatin chemo drug as that’s been the culprit in the lower platelet counts.

That meant a much shorter infusion time (30 min) because there are no pre-meds in the protocol for the study drug. Still, my day was a long one: I arrived at 8:15 and left at 3. Why, you wonder? The drug I’m taking is one that’s in a trial and not yet approved by the FDA (although the study itself is approved), and checking and rechecking of numbers and requirements are involved to ensure adherence with the trial directives. The procedure can’t be rushed, and that’s good for everyone. Besides, now that I’m used to the process, I understand that the wait is necessary, and I’m impressed with the professionalism of the oncology staff at Sarah Cannon Research Institute. I never feel forgotten because someone is always keeping me updated.

I have one more treatment in this 6-cycle trial. I can’t wait to see what happens next, but I’m told that I can continue with the study drug since I’ve had such good results. For that I’m thankful and I pray for continued good results.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow….


Low platelets April 7, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — cindytripp @ 10:39 am

My platelets are still too low for treatment today. The count is 69,000, which is not much higher than the 65,000 of last week. We’ll try again next Monday. Time is the only thing that helps platelets recover.


Blessed are the pure in heart… April 6, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — cindytripp @ 9:37 pm

…for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)

My mother, Lorraine Madalon Honoré Breath, passed away peacefully on Tuesday morning, April 1 and was buried with my father in New Orleans on Friday, April 4. About a month ago, she became weaker, and on Sunday morning we had our last conversation. Her 89th birthday was March 26 and she was ready—and now she sees God face to face.

MIMG_6423[1]y mother was a model of gratitude and selflessness for her husband, her children (David, Dianne, and me), her family, and her friends. She smiled often and laughed easily, and, oh, how she loved to sing random songs whenever the mood struck her. She thanked anyone who helped her or came to visit, and she rarely asked for anything because she didn’t want to create work for someone else. After living with us for 14 years, she spent the last 6 years at Grace Healthcare in Franklin, and she loved everyone there and was loved in return. She always asked about others and talked about herself only if pressed and then briefly if at all. She was confident that God always answered her prayers—sometimes yes, sometimes no, and sometimes wait.

Last Monday, the day before my mother died, I learned that my scan results after 4 cycles had shown continued shrinkage of the three largest tumors. In fact, the shrinkage now measures well over 30%, and the words “partial remission” can now be used to describe how my cancer has reacted to the study drug. I return tomorrow (cycle 4 day 29 but hopefully cycle 5 day 1) to see if my platelets have recovered and if I can have another treatment. None of this would have surprised my mother because she prayed for me every day of my life and for David and Dianne and our families every day of their lives.

Lorraine-Breath-sq1-273x273 In the last week especially, I have thought of my mother’s steady faith and of her belief in God’s love. She would have been thanking God for His faithfulness once again, and she would have been smiling. I miss her today and will miss her for the rest of my life. I am grateful that she was my mother, and I pray that I will always honor her memory in all that I do and say.

Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)