What happens when all the front-line treatments are used up? That is the question I am dealing with.

Chemotherapy sessionIn the course of my battle with stage IV colon cancer for the last four-and-a-half years, the five front-line chemotherapy drugs have either been figured out by my cancer, or my cancer never responded to them. This leaves me in a pretty bad spot.

Now comes the exploration of clinical trials. In a nutshell, a clinical trial consists of someone having an idea on what will work on a certain kind of cancer. In order to prove these ideas, the doctors/scientists/drug companies need people to try them on. In the beginning stages, they are not sure what dose to use, what the side effects will be or if these drugs will even work. Some of these drugs don't even have names yet.

I was put into one trial last year; it had some pretty bad side effects. Those were managed with a dosing reduction. After a couple months, it was determined that the drugs were not working, and my cancer was continuing to grow. This is a very scary reality. The truth of the matter is the majority of these trials will not work, but that does not mean I am willing to write future trials off. I have essentially become a guinea pig for these ideas.

The only reason I am here to write this is because someone was a guinea pig for the drugs that have kept me alive this long. I remain hopeful that one of these ideas will result in more time for me, but if it is not meant to be, then I am hopeful that the information they get will help someone in the future.


Share Your Thoughts

Have you been a part of a clinical trial? What were the results? Share your comments below.

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About the Author

Kristin Ciganek grew up in Milwaukee, the second of eight kids – two boys and six girls. She went to Madison High School on the city’s northwest side, and graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, in psychology and human development. So she took a job with the Milwaukee Fire Department – and spent 13 years as a firefighter and two as a lieutenant, until a cancer diagnosis stopped her short in 2012. In late 2017, Kristin unfortunately passed away. Her sister, Sandy, wrote a tribute post  in her honor. Her story was told in a Froedtert Today and in a WITI?TV, Channel 6, news report.

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david
chapman
on May 19, 2020 - 2:06 pm

I did not find treatments for rectal metastasis to the lungs. Also i know cancer is tough to work on. I think every person connected to chemo should have to take a few treatments so they know what people that has to take this stuff knows what they have to go through. To some doctors the money is what counts. They give people this stuff not caring what it does. It is just like locking down the handle on a slot machine. And watch the money role in.

david
chapman
on May 19, 2020 - 2:01 pm

I did not find treatments for rectal metastasis to the lungs. Also i know cancer is tough to work on. I think every person connected to chemo should have to take a few treatments so they know what people that has to take this stuff knows what they have to go through.

Roxanne
Michaels
on June 28, 2019 - 7:40 pm

I'm where u were. Surgery chemo rad. Rectal spread to lung. Exercise that .now what