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Guest blog post by Tiffanny

December 21, 2016

Yes you guessed it!  “You have cancer”  head spinning , heart pounding, my entire life spinning out of control!

After only 3-4 appointments, 3-4 diagnosis, 3-4 prescriptions, and me demanding a punch biopsy because of what I had read on Dr Google, I was diagnosed with IBC stage 3b.

With an army of amazing family and friends surrounding me and supporting me I did it, I beat the beast!  I received standard of care in my home town, Taxol, AC, surgery,radiation and then 5 months of Xeloda(I didn’t make it the entire 6 months, due to hand and foot syndrome, which was almost the worse part of the whole ordeal), my husband and I celebrated with a cruise to the Bahamas. 

Then in August of 2018, I began to have what I thought might be gallbladder issues, again that was according to Dr. Google,  immediately went to the doctor, and they did a hyda scan and ultrasound neither of those test confirmed  anything with my gall bladder, I again demanded a  more in depth test (my GP, wanted me to see a GI specialist but it would take 6-8 weeks),I knew it that moment that my cancer was back,(why do we call it my Cancer?  I never asked to be the owner of the ugly stuff).  Again with my family by my side, my oncologist said the words “you have cancer”. But this time he said Stage 4-we were all devastated. My youngest daughter, who was pregnant at the time with my second grandchild, first granddaughter, looks straight in the dr’s eyes and said will my mom get to meet her granddaughter the doctor lowered his eyes and shook his head. “I cannot guarantee that” he said.

Because of my research and joining the IBC Network Facebook page soon after my first diagnosis, I was able to reach out to Terry Arnold founder of the IBC network.  I remember our first conversation, it started with me texting her. She immediately texted me back told me she was on the freeway, but would pull over and give me a call.  After she listened to me for the first 10 minutes crying,  she was able to help me get in contact with MD Anderson. She told me what verbiage to use when requesting an appointment and three days later my husband and I were on a plane to Houston Texas.

Fast forward, December 2023, I am currently on cycle 64, of a phase two clinical trial at MD Anderson in Houston Texas. I am NED, I now have five grandchildren total.  I must be honest the road was pure hell at times, I had many sad and hard days, I had days that I didn’t know how I could make it through! Yes I had days that I wanted to give up, and if I’m being honest, I had days that I just wanted to die! 

I did choose to fight though and I praise God everyday. My medical team at MD Anderson is why I am here today!  In my heart Cancer has changed me as a person, I live differently. I love harder, I forgive easier, and as cliché as it may sound, I don’t sweat the small stuff!

Research is key!

Advocate for your own health!

Hope always!

The study Tiffanny was in at MD Anderson was called:

Phase II Trial of Combination of Atezolizumab, Cobimetinib and Eribulin (ACE) or Atezolizumab and Eribulin (AE) in patients with metastatic inflammatory breast cancer (IBC): Clinical data of both cohorts.

This poster was presented at the San Antontio Breast Cancer Symposium and Tiffanny is the patient that is represented by the long continuing line. You can see Angela Alexander, PhD, the researcher, with a huge smile at the success reflected for this patient. As hard as it was to see this trial was not successful for all to have some measurable success, can we hope, lead to more future success stories!

Angela Alexander PhD
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