Feb 08, 2011 - 9:30 pm
I knew my CT/PET from last week would show disease progression since my CA125 went up 550 points to 876 over the last 2 months I was taking carboplatin. And I was right, but at least no additional organs or new lymph nodes lit up. The malignant node in my arm pit shrunk, but the para-aortic node was a little bigger. The real cancer spread was the mets in my liver, which really grew and new spots showed up in the liver. My oncologist estimates that 35% of my liver now has tumors. That sounds so horrible, but he also said that you can have perfectly normal liver function with 90% of your liver cancerous. & my liver function is normal! So although I had significant cancer progression, I feel pretty okay about where I am still. I remain symptom-free with an excellent quality of life, so I figure all I really need from a chemo now is something that can hold me STABLE where I am.
My good news is that my insurance approved Avastin for me and we're adding in Cytoxin because Avastin works better combined with another chemo. I had to pee in a cup for testing before I could get the Avastin this afternoon. The only premed you get with Avastin is benedryl, no steroids or anything. I will get the Avastin infusion once a week for the 1st 3 weeks, and then every other week from then on. Today's infusion was a super-slow drip of 1 1/2 hours, to make sure I wouldn't have a reaction to it. Next Tuesday I'll get the same amount of Avastin with a 1 hour drip, and after that all infusions will just take 1/2 hour. The Cytoxin is a very small dose of 50 mg. given as a pill. (When given for breast cancer you get 500 mg, for comparison.) This mild dose is just to be a catalyst for the Avastin. I take the Cytoxin pill once a day, every day in the morning. With cytoxin, it's important to drink a lot of fluids and pee every couple of hours, no problem for me since I've been drinking a minimum of 64 oz. fluids since I started chemo way way back.
& the timing for my Avastin infusions works PERFECTLY for me to go on my Christmas-present trip to the Dominican Republic with my oldest son at the end of February, as I'll be on my 1st 2-weeks-off schedule when we planned to go! My oncologist said he saw no reason why I couldn't go. It will be so great to have this quality time with my oldest son.
So not the best report, but not nearly as bad as I feared it might be.