When you have cancer, you learn a whole new language – one that includes both the generic and brand names of treatment drugs. Since my diagnosis in 1998, I have received the following:
Taxotere (Docetaxel) - twice
That does not include Neupogene (a white blood cell booster), steroids, anti-nausea pills, antibiotics, anti-depressants and complimentary naturopathic remedies meant to reduce the side effects of the cancer drugs.
It looks like I’ll be starting a new drug in a few months, once they have another look at my lungs. Some of the possibilities include Xeloda, Naveline, Abraxane, Ixempra, Gemzar and Fareston.
This weird cancer language also includes terms like: tumor marker, cancer stage, aromatase inhibitor, extrogen receptor, metastases, port-a-cath, and ablative therapy. What sounds like Klingon to most people becomes common place for those of us who are riding the cancer roller coaster.
Common breast cancer terms and definitions