The cancer had spread from her breasts to her brain, lungs, liver, bones and was in metastasis. The doctor at the Cancer Institute told us that it was impossible to cure her and that she only had 6 months to 1 year to live, and a little more, if palliative treatment worked.
Since then, she has undergone around 28 rounds of chemotherapy and 27 rounds of radiotherapy. Thankfully, the treatments have had little side-effects. Currently, she is being treated at the Apollo Cancer Research Centre, in Bengaluru.
In an earlier biopsy, done in 2015, her ER/PR/HER2(receptors which helps to decide the type of breast cancer) were all-negative. She was given ‘Germcitabine’ and ‘Carboplatin’ for chemotherapy. Last September, when we took a new biopsy, the results came back with ER/PR being negative but HER2 was found to be positive (3+ score). HER2 positive is the most aggressive breast cancer. Upon oncologist’s recommendation she was given, ‘Herceptin’, which offers targeted therapy for HER2 +ve breast cancer. She was also administered ‘Canmab’ and ‘Docetaxel’ for chemo, but they did not yield any results, and she got new lumps in her chest during the course of the treatment.
As per a recent PETCT scan report, the cancer’s spread is progressing in her brain, bone, lungs, and liver. We tried oral chemotherapy with tablets like ‘Lapatinib’ and ‘Capicitabine’, but they had little effect, and she suffered from seizures last month due to brain metastasis and blood leakage in her chest lumps.
Our oncologist has now recommended that she be given a drug called ‘Kadcyla’, which has historically proved to be useful in the treatment of advanced breast cancer metastasis for whom Herceptin did not work. This drug has done wonders for many breast cancer patients, and has helped them live longer while also improving their quality of life.
So, we're hoping that this drug will help my mother in her fight against cancer. Despite her condition, she has a positive mind-set, and is determined to not let cancer defeat her.
Sadly, for us, ‘Kadcyla’ is astronomically expensive. It costs 2,50,000 INR per 160 mg and if it is purchased 6 times in this dosage, from the same manufacturer (‘Roche’ in this case), it will be free for the remainder of the treatment. Our oncologist has said, that she would need to consume the drug for the rest of her life, if she responds well to it.
So, in the short term, we are looking at a minimum expenditure of 15,00,000 INR for purchasing this drug 6 times. This is over and above the expenditure we’ve to incur on consultations and other tests, treatments, which by itself, is significant.
My father passed away 12 years ago and I am the sole breadwinner in my family. My brother stays at home with our mother, to take care of her. My mother does not have any insurance, and I have blown through all of my savings on her treatment, while also having had to take EMIs, and credit-card loans. We’ve already spent over 10,00,000 INR on her treatment thus far, and as I explained earlier, we have to spend a lot more, moving forward. As such, it would be impossible for us to do this on our own, and I have created this campaign, to seek financial help from anyone who is willing to help.
Your contribution will mean the world to us and will not be forgotten, and it may just give my mother a fighting chance, a chance, I believe every cancer patient deserves.