Today marks my 75th Herceptin and Perjeta infusions, which means I’ve been getting these for 225 weeks, or, if you prefer, 4.25 years. I thought it would be interesting to explain, in layman’s terms, how these two drugs work together to sustain my life.
These two drugs are considered targeted therapies, both of which target my HER2 protein receptors in the triple positive subtype of breast cancer I have. Think of HER2 receptors as being little antennas poking off a cell. The two immunotherapy drugs Herceptin and Perjeta bind to these antennas, interfering with their growth and reproduction signals. However, they do so by attaching to different parts of the HER2 protein “antennae”. As a result, they are more effective at doing their job because they are hitting it at different spots.
My boyfriend is one of Buffalo Bills’ biggest fans, so I’m going to use a football analogy. It’s as if Tre’Davious White and Jordan Poyer simultaneously their opponents’ receiver, with Tre tackling the upper body and Jordan tackling his legs. While either one of these two defensive players would possibly stop the opposing offensive player from getting a touchdown, the two of them tacking together would significantly reduce how many yards the opposing team advanced much more effectively.
NB: While my boyfriend is a HUGE Buffalo Bills fan, the first game I watched with him was in the 2020 season. I didn’t know a thing about football, although I remember seeing players dancing after a touchdown when I saw the occasional game playing on TV in a sports bar back in the late 1990 and early 2000s. I was disappointed to learn about the “excessive celebration” rule because I thought it made the game more interesting as a spectator. It was only a few minutes later that Stefon Diggs caught the ball, ran like crazy and managed to zig zag perfectly to avoid getting tackled. He scored a touchdown and did a small victory dance. I loved it and since then, Stefon Diggs has become “my” player. It’s also fitting that he wears #14, which is the day I was born. This was a long ‘nota bene” to say that I couldn’t find a way to fit Stefon into my football analogy, so I decided to diverge and write the second part of my post about how he has become “my” NFL player. I’m sad their season is over, but hope to be well enough to go to Seattle next season to see the Bills play there!
Did you like this post? If so, feel free to buy me a coffee or contribute towards some of my uninsured medical expenses.