For me, right now, absolutely!
On the 29th of April, after a couple of terrible months, I finally began a targeted therapy called Pemigatinib (Pemazyre). I became eligible for this treatment after testing positive for FGFR (abnormal proteins). This treatment is in tablet form and I take this daily for 14 days with 7 days break.
I had already had encouraging blood test results that showed a 4000 drop in CA19 tumour markers after 2 cycles, so when I went for my scan on Sunday, I was feeling hopeful that there would be good news.
After speaking to my oncologist yesterday, this was my response to the news he gave me…..
And here’s why….
Tumour Marker: down from 4262 – 124
Main Tumour in bile duct: Reduced to 6cm (originally 13.2cm)
Liver: large tumour down from 6cm – 4cm All other tumours have shrunk
Lymph nodes: No longer enlarged and considered almost normal
Lungs: All tumours shrunk and some GONE!!!
I feel so lucky to have become one of the first patients in the UK to start this treatment. The aim, if I remember rightly, is to reduce the growth of these abnormal cells and slow down the spread.
I have to say that since starting this drug, I have been able to truly live and I am completely pain free.
I cannot tell you the relief I felt when I heard my response to the first 3 cycles. I definitely did not expect to hear that some tumours had actually disappeared. Although, Pemigatinib is not without side effects, I have been incredibly lucky to only struggle with fatigue.
I do believe that this is due to diet, exercise, good sleep, meditation and additional therapies I access, as they improve my overall health and boost my immune system, enabling my body to not only tolerate this drug but maximise its effects.
Thanks to social media, I have been able to connect to others who are on Pemigatinib and overall, everyone has had good results. I really believe there is finally progress being made in the treatment of bile duct cancer, although more awareness and research needs to happen for us living with it, to achieve the best outcome possible.
I still have a long way to go but a win is a win!!
And I’m grabbing it with both hands!!
Much love and strength,