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Sunday, January 12, 2014

The report

I'm home again. Week one of the trial was uneventful, at least medically speaking. (But if we're speaking of delicious dinners, and hating the DC bus system, it was very eventful.)

I had very little in the way of reaction to the stuff I got, whatever it was. (I have an urge to call it Mystery Meat, for some reason.) A little foggy, a little headache-y, and two swollen injection sites that looked like little bites.

I found a thread on a message board for women participating in this trial. Several of them bemoaned their lack of side effects. They were sure that it meant that they were in the control arm of the study. And who could blame them? Throughout cancer treatment, you accept the hair loss, the sickness, the burns, as the tax for getting well. Killing cancer has a price, that's what we learn. So when confronted with a potential treatment that has none of those, we assume it isn't real. Kind of like, and I know I've said this before, when I was a teenager and judged my skincare products by how much they burned my skin. The pain meant that it was working.

But I know now that it's not true. This week I raised my left arm up straight and tall. It was the first time I'd been able to do that that in over a year. I did not get this point from pushing my arm up till it hurt. I did not have painful surgery to release the scar tissue that was holding me down. No. I went to physical therapy, and slowly and surely, got most of the way there. And in the last couple of weeks, began massaging my mastectomy scar. The massage gently loosened everything up, so I am now able to raise my arm up those last ten or so degrees.

So, it doesn't have to hurt. Not always.

For more information on peptide vaccines, check out this article from MD Anderson.

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