My Oncology diploma from Google University does not hold water. In simple unadulterated English, my degree is worthless ca-ca. So, every statement in this post comes strictly from experience, observations, product literature, anecdotal accounts, common sense, and my inner genius.
The human body is a very efficient machine. Its design alone should awe anyone. For example, our nose is not located on top of our head, otherwise, we’d drown while showering. Our body speaks to us. Okay, I’ll speak for myself. My body talks to me. My stomach growls when I need fuel. When I am dehydrated, thirst leads me to a cold beer. Two years ago, an incessant cough told me, “Hey, you gorgeous senior babe you, I know you dislike doctors, but some creepy critters are trying to homestead in your lungs.” I recognize warnings, especially if they address me properly. I listened to my body and visited my Physician’s Assistant (PA). The visit, of course led to my lung cancer diagnosis, and eventually to this blog.
Perhaps it’s my imagination, but I think the cough stopped right after the visit with my PA. I don’t recall a hacking cough causing temblors during bloodlettings, CTscans, PETscan, MRI, biopsy, etc. Immediately after my Stage IV NSCLC diagnosis, I gained weight without any dietary or exercise changes. My body prepared me to deal with the cancer and the side effects of Tarceva, my first-line treatment. My wardrobe ballooned from Petite Medium to “Extra Grande” in the 20 months that I was on Tarceva, which shrunk my 3cm x 3cm tumor to a sliver. I did not mind the added pounds and inches. I was comfortable with the knowledge that a thicker slab of Intact Fat Plane was shielding my aorta from the cancerdude. I went along with the girth expansion program. I donated the smaller clothes and bought larger ones. And I happily transformed myself into a boisterous proponent of “Big is Beautiful.”
After Tarceva started acting wishy-washy, I joined the CO-1686 clinical trials, my second-line treatment. Six weeks of the trial drug shrunk the main tumor sliver to a tinier snowflake maybe even to a scar. Neither the radiologists nor my Onc’s Onc, the Lord of Lung Cancer (LLC), can tell the difference. While enjoying the first four months of the trial with zero side effects, I was so cocksure I’d get away scot free and even had the audacity to proclaim myself Queen of Zero Side Effects! During that time, Dr. LLC and I noticed that my blood glucose numbers were creeping upwards although staying within the normal range. Then came the “Other-Shoe-Dropped” event. High glucose caused maple-sweet urine to trigger a urinary tract infection, which caused glucose numbers to rise higher. That event marked the beginning of my CO-1686-induced diabetes and the end of my dream of setting a Guinness world record of experiencing zero side effects on a clinical trial drug. Bwaaahhahah! Dreaming is good.
To regulate the CO-1686-induced diabetes, Dr. LLC prescribed Metformin. Metformin according to product literature, among other things, DECREASES need for insulin, DECREASES absorption of glucose/sugar, improves circulation, improves satiety, decreases carbohydrate cravings – everything I read when I try to lose weight.
The weight-loss principle is simple, according to the last doctor I saw long before my cancer diagnosis. I had gone to his office because it was near my office and he required no appointments. I liked that. I also had a purpose. I told him I was 20 pounds overweight and the scale wouldn’t budge no matter what I did. Of course I minimized the nightly beers and heaps of jalapeno nachos at the bar. He prescribed “Meridia” the weight-control pill that was fast becoming the dieters’ darling at the time. He informed me that Meridia was originally intended to treat depression, but during the clinical trials, the obese depressed women lost weight! The pharma host decided to switch directions and develop Meridia as a weight-loss prescription drug. “Remember the principle,” said the Doc. “Insulin attaches to fat cells. Less fat cells, less insulin.”
Metformin reduces the body’s need for insulin, therefore it helps the body lose fat cells. In other words, it helps in losing weight. As a matter of fact, as I type this post, I’m wearing skinny jeans and still able to breathe. In two weeks of Metformin, my figure has returned to Petite Medium. Thank goodness my glucose readings have gone back to normal. I don’t want to lose any more pounds. My Intact Fat Plane and I have a deal.
I’m loving this CO-1686/Metformin cocktail combo!
But wait! There’s more. Metformin has all sorts of benefits for diabetics, pre-diabetics, cancer sufferers, etc. Here are a couple of links:
Another cause for celebration for Tarceva progressors!