I’m You.

Clinical Trials, post #3: Katherine Bensen.

Curled up in my youngest daughter Sadie’s bed last night, snuggling her up for sleep and soaking in all her love! I told her that I would miss her while I’m at treatment and decided to be real and shared that I didn’t want to go.

In her sweet way, she told me to go to bed and get some sleep. “In the morning you’ll wake up and go. Afterwards, we will all meet up at Carleton College and you’ll see Henry, Anne, Millie, Dad and me. Then it will be summer.” I laughed and said, “Just like that, jumping ahead to summer?” “Yup,” was her quick reply.

Sadie is 13 years old and she grounded me once again. One minute and one day at a time, that’s how it works. Look at how much time has passed and I’m still alive!

Today is my 3rd infusion of the clinical trial. I’m overwhelmed with how grateful I am that I made it through the first two infusions. I recently learned that only one of two people make it past the first day.  Side effects, such as a severe allergic reaction, can prevent some patients from continuing the treatment.  I checked in at 8:00 am today and I have my own room with a bed and warm blankets. The prep takes two hours each time I come for an infusion. This morning, I felt disgusted as I watched my blood coagulating as they took samples for the study. Normally my blood flows easily, however today we needed to rotate my arm to the side, up and down. Anyone reading this blog will be able to imagine for themselves the discomfort of having to move while having a needle stabbing you. Imagine a needle attached to a small tube stuck through your skin right on top of the bony part of your wrist. Yuck, but the irony is, I feel grateful in this moment. This discomfort may save my life, and it will contribute to science to help others later.

It’s 10:37am and my infusion just started. The protocol today is a five-hour drip. Once again, it feels ironic that I am looking forward to heading home tonight during rush hour with all of you.

Research Matters. I’ll never forget a conversation I had with former Vice President Joe Biden. His son Beau Biden had brain cancer. He told me there was another girl that had the same cancer as his son, and they were both given the same treatment. Sadly, his son passed away, but she lived. You live. I’m you. He told me to keep going!

Thank you everyone for all your sweet and profound words of encouragement by phone, text, letters and on social media on my page and A Breath of Hope’s pages. I read and love every single message and cherish every one of you.

Research and clinical trials matter. I’m so happy I can contribute to the knowledge that may save others’ lives.

She lived. You live. I’m You. Anyone with lungs can get lung cancer.

#Katiewins Living with Stage IV Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer EGFR Exon 19, Erbb2, T790M & MET ~ Diagnosed December 31, 2014.