Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009: Rounding Third Base . . .

We are finally in the last stretch and heading to the home plate! I had a doctors appointment with my oncologist this morning and we talked about the end of my treatment plan. The good news . . . I am now considered to be in "clinical remission"! That means that there is no evidence of cancer in me (clear ct scans, mammogram and normal CA-125).

The not-so-good news . . . my doctor has recommended an additional 15 rounds of Avastin. Although I was initially bummed about this, I am now feeling pretty good about it. I have chemo on 5/19 and 5/26 which will be round 6 - my final round of chemo. The Avastin is the biologic medicine that I have been receiving every three weeks for the past 5 months. I was also receiving Taxol every 2 out of 3 weeks. This is the chemo and what has been causing most of my side effects. My last dose of this will be on the 26th - yea!

Also, after seeing me today my nurse said she didn't think I would lose all my hair - more yea!! I will probably thin out some more but she didn't think it would all go. Most of my eye lashes and eye brows are gone now but they should be growing back soon.

Starting around 6/10 I will begin my first of 15 rounds of Avastin. One round is one visit and I will go every three weeks which will be about a year. Avastin shouldn't cause any immediate side effects and I should be able to tolerate it without Benadryl. There are some bad potential long term side effects however, such as bowel perforation. That doesn't sound good. My doctor feels that taking this precaution is worth the potential risks. They have not had any of these bad side effects in their office (that doesn't comfort me a whole lot because I never seem to follow the "norm").

Basically what the Avastin does is starve the cancer. Ovarian cancer needs blood cells to multiply and the Avastin blocks the blood cells which will starve the cancer and it will die off. Avastin is fairly new and they are seeing really good results with it. Chemo kills the good along with the bad where Avastin doesn't kill anything, just prevents the cancer from growing in the blood cells.

I will be having a ct scan and chest x-ray in the next couple of weeks but my doctor said he wasn't expecting to find anything. This is just protocol when chemo treatment is done. They will continue checking my CA125 every three weeks for a while and eventually cut back to every six weeks.

My doctor said on his way out of the room today that he is very happy with my results and treatment plan. He has always been a realist with us and says it like it is which we appreciate. Hearing such positive comments from him was great!

Well, typed another book. Sorry if this was confusing. Prayers that we would appreciate for the future are for my CA-125 to stay normal, test results to come back clear, no side effects from the Avastin (short and long-term) and that this treatment plan will just become a normal part of our routine rather than a dreaded visit.

Thank you!!