Last July, I was diagnosed with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) of the rectum, a rare sarcoma in a very rare location (only five to 25 per year). It was surgically removed on 9/11, but the growth rate indicated that it was likely to recur or metastasize. So I was started on Gleevec, a targeted molecular therapy (kind of like chemotherapy), that I take once a day for three years or until the cancer recurs. It costs about $300 per pill – can you believe that! The side effects are not major; fatigue, thinning skin, runny eyes, nausea, etc. I’m thankful that I can continue to work full-time.
But my hero is my sister, who survived two separate bouts of breast cancer, then vulvar cancer. To top it off at the same time I was diagnosed with GIST she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain cancer (GBM). She was on chemo and radiation, but the chemo dropped her counts so low that she had to stop taking it. She is currently in remission. Throughout all of her cancers, she has continued to be positive, upbeat, and engaged in life . She is a true inspiration to me. Her husband, who has Parkinson’s, has been right at her side, supporting her and loving her through it all.
Both my sister and I are fighting like girls for our future.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.