Advanced Breast Cancer Survivor

Needed to survive

Lori Lober’s inspirational story embodies the power of a positive attitude, being proactive in the search for treatment answers and a strong faith in God. After being misdiagnosed three times, Lori was diagnosed in 2000 with Stage IV breast cancer with metastasis to the liver.

She and her husband, John, went to a comprehensive cancer center where they were given hope. Lori was HER2+ (positive) and qualified for a clinical trial that was testing the newly approved targeted therapy drug trastuzumab (Herceptin) for another indication. Chemotherapy, surgery and additional treatments followed.

Lori continues to take Herceptin regularly. She remains medically diagnosed as No Evidence of Disease. She and John own a custom home-building company and are also distributors for Isagenix Nutritional Cleansing and Replenishing products. Lori has written three books about her experiences, which can be found on her website, www.welovetolive.com. She has two stepsons and one son who passed away in 2005.

 

When I was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer with metastasis to my liver in 2000, I was given a 3-percent chance to live for five years. The traditional FDA-approved therapy offered me little or no hope. That was the worst day of my life.

The oncologist then said, however, that he had one place left in a clinical trial with a drug called trastuzumab (Herceptin) and I would be perfect for it. I said yes—and I didn’t even know anything about clinical trials. I believe I was led to that trial. I don’t think there are any accidents when it comes to something like this. We had walked into the doctor’s office with fear and left with hope.

In the late 1990s, I knew something was wrong with my body. I was told, however, after my third mammogram that there was no sign of cancer and to come back when I was 40. I was 38 and had been chasing this for two years.

I persisted, and finally after a positive biopsy, I went to a comprehensive cancer center, where I was accurately diagnosed. That’s where I was told about the clinical trial. It was specifically for women who were HER2+ and had late-stage metastatic breast cancer. In the trial, I took a preadjuvant docetaxel/Herceptin chemotherapy cocktail for six months before my mastectomy surgery. They wanted to make sure the metastasis was shrinking before they even worried about the breast tumor—and it did.

I had successful experimental radiofrequency ablation on my liver and later had a double mastectomy with no reconstruction. After I recovered, my oncologist prescribed the traditional FDA-approved doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, 5-fluorouracil regime. Finally, I had four rounds of vinorelbine.

When the trial and the traditional therapy were completed, I wanted to know what else was out there. So I went on the Internet and found another clinical trial that involved a cancer vaccine. I took the information to my oncologist, and after further testing, they accepted me. In my mind, this was dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.

In addition to my traditional medical treatments, I added complementary modalities from the very beginning. I found a nutritionist at a holistic center and had therapeutic massage, reflexology, acupuncture and colonics.

After nearly two years, I was given the good news that the hard work had paid off and there was no evidence of disease. I couldn’t have been more thankful. My cancer journey had not been easy, and in some ways, it was just beginning.

I continue to take Herceptin, and every three weeks I have a triple-dose infusion. I am vigilant about my good health and believe it’s not just any one thing. It’s the Herceptin, thinking positive thoughts each day, taking Isagenix supplements, exercising regularly and giving thanks to God for my husband, my family and wonderful doctors. They all work in harmony. I am also passionate about biotechnology and even had my photo taken with the men who were directly responsible for creating Herceptin.

Almost 13 years later, I truly feel like I am stronger and healthier physically and emotionally than I have ever been. I get up each morning with a purpose because I know what it’s like to have no hope, and I want to give hope to as many people as I can each day.

 

Previous Next

 



Register Now! Sign Up For Our Free E-Newletter!

Read Inspiring Cancer Survivor Stories

Order Your Guides Here