When Life Gives You Cancer, Get Rid Of It
Be sure to Listen to our episode with Brandon and read his blog post below!
My name is Brandon Thomas I’m 20 years old and if you’re reading this I have cancer once again. I was diagnosed on June 15th, 2016 with a recurring Osteosarcoma bone tumor below my abdominal wall located on top of my left hip flexor. I discovered this tumor much like before, in the gym. I was experiencing pain in my hip flexor while working out. So, I decided to do a self-examination during which I discovered a lump. Due to my prior experiences with finding lumps I immediately had worries and informed my doctors.
After a few scans it was clear that this was more than just a lump. I required a surgical biopsy. The doctor informed me that the cancer had reared its ugly head once more. It was a small ball shaped mass about 5cm by 5cm and yet something so small had now brought my life to a halt, I had gone from being cancer free and healthy, right back to being sick as if nothing had changed. To me, it felt as if it was nothing more than a complication. Much to my dismay, this would be one of the worst complications yet. I was told I had a 20-30% chance of survival with conventional chemotherapy due to the fact that chemo is not as effective the second time around.
Fortunately, it seemed like my luck was about to change. Doctors told me there had been a new study opening that used an Immunotherapy drug to treat the cancer and it showed great promise. I was eligible for the therapy. So without hesitation, I signed the papers and began.
This treatment is delivered every 21 days and uses a genetically engineered antibody that is attracted to the protein enzymes found in my cancer, a chemotherapy drug is then placed inside the antibody. The antibody then binds to the cancerous cells. The cancer absorbs the antibody and breaks it down. The leads to a release in the chemotherapy drug killing the cancer.
I’m currently 3 treatments in and have been experiencing great results. The entire medical staff has been extremely happy and excited for the potential that this drug offers. The impact that this could have in treating Osteosarcomas is insurmountable. I have been taking to the drug well and have experienced little to no side effects so far other then 50% hair loss. It was also determined that this cancer was not metastasized and was a local recurrence meaning that we had missed some of the cancer the first time around. This is because I wasn’t able to get all of the treatments. The chance of beating the fuck out of this thing is much greater than if I had not recognized this when I did.
All I know is that I kicked cancers ass the first time and I don’t plan on changing that the second time around.