The new regimen of treatment for me is Faslodex injections once a month and Zometa IVs once every three months. Last month I had my "loading dose" of Faslodex (fulvestrant).
Faslodex is an injection which is used to treat cancer in hormone receptor positive women who have not responded to (or have had their case worsen) with other treatments, such as tamoxifen, or in my case, Arimidex. Faslodex is an estrogen receptor antagonist which prevents the cancer from being able to use the body's hormones to grow. It is only used in menopausal women and is NOT chemotherapy.
It is administered as an injection in the "buttocks" as the material so nicely describes it. There are very few side effects, other than packing a substantial whallop to your wallet. Well...relatively minor ones. The most common is an "injection site reaction."
Last month, I received a "loading dose" (basically twice the dose I will normally have), one shot in each "cheek" so to speak. The needles were a pleasure after getting used to the chemotherapy needles I have been using for so long. What did amaze me is the size and variation in color of the bruise which I had by the time I went to bed. Imagine yellows, to magenta, to dark "blue"....all in one fairly large spot. The spot was also hard and warm to the touch for about 10 days. The second week, I could still feel the lump but by then, the swelling had gone down and the area well...itched. Not exactly a ladylike spot to relieve the sensation.
Today, I got my second dose. When I went in, the nurse had two syringes ready....TWO? I asked about this because it was my second dose, and I thought I was done with the loading doses. She had wondered the same thing and had asked my oncologist before she came into the room with me. So, she decided it was worth asking again as I had understood that I was only getting one shot today.
She came back saying that recent information indicated that the "loading dose" should be administered for a longer period to have the greatest amount of efficacy. This news made me feel really great. Why? Well, it indicated that my doc keeps up on the latest information. Cancer treatment is changing....and rapidly. I'm grateful that I have someone who keeps up on what might be best for me.
I said something to the nurse about hoping this will work...her comment was that lots of people have lived a long time with good results on this drug. I'm just hoping I'm one of them.