Claire is a stage IV breast cancer patient and her prognosis has recently changed for the worse. Claire is a documentary producer living in New York City and currently working on a new project, “STAGE V,” which documents the journey of metastatic breast cancer patients. So far she has succeeded in shooting interviews with a voluntary crew. However, with her impending illness, she will not be able to continue documenting our metastatic sisters as they fight for viable treatment options and survival. For Claire’s bio, click here.
All these years while Stage IV, Claire has been living an active, healthy lifestyle – she juices daily, takes many supplements, gets acupuncture, bikes around Manhattan and goes to the gym. She also serves on the board of You Can Thrive, a breast cancer center that addresses the need for free and low-cost support services and long term survivor-ship tools for breast cancer survivors. Services offered include advocacy, acupuncture, massage therapy, and nutritional counseling. Claire is the voice of Stage IV patients at the center.
All that changed in January 2011.
Claire was diagnosed in January 2003, and had a good six year run on Arimidex with some Tamoxifen thrown in.That became ineffective in the summer of 2009. Claire then tried Aromasin without response, moved on to Xeloda, and that worked until fall 2010. Avastin was added to the Xeloda, and then she switched to Doxil, all without response. In January 2011, Claire completed four IVs of Gemzar, without response, and these treatments have devastated her stable status. She has experienced every horrible side effect possible:
- Fatigue and malaise
- Low White Blood Cells (Neulasta injection required)
- Low Red Blood Cells and platelets – fatigue, shortness of breath, racing heart beat, roaming headache (blood and platelet transfusion required)
- Ascites and high liver enzymes
- Phlegm – copious, viscus mucus in sinus passages and throat
- Night sweats
- Hair loss
From the December holidays to now Claire has experienced a terrifying decline.
She is currently on disability and medicaid and seeking assistance with both living and health care expenses, as well as alternative treatment options.