randy_byers: (2009-05-10)
[personal profile] randy_byers
Just a quick note to let people know that last Friday I had my first infusion of Avastin. I'll be getting these every two weeks going forward. Avastin is an artificial antibody that attacks the blood vessels that supply cancer tumors with sustenance, and thus prevents them from growing and spreading. The tech who started the infusion for me said that the drug is designed to seek out chemical markers for cancer, so it doesn't attack healthy tissue. They said the main side effect is usually elevated blood pressure, although they warn you that all kinda of bleeding problems, including strokes, happen in rare cases. So far, I'm experiencing no problems.

The goal, as briefly discussed with my neuoro-oncologist after I had the MRI done on Tuesday, is to make sure the tiny tumors don't grow while I'm traveling in the next month (first to Corflu outside LA at the end of April, and then to Micronesia for three weeks in May). When I get back from that it sounds like they'll be putting me on another form of chemo too, simultaneous with the Avastin. And of course I've still got the Optune glued to my head. It sounds like I could also try some clinical trials if I wanted to, but I can't say I'm too thrilled by the idea of being a guinea pig right now.

Ah well, friends have been stepping up to divert me from my woes, and next week I'm going out to my sacred place (the Olympic National Forest) with my cancer buddy Kristal for at least a couple of days. It's discouraging that the cancer has already returned, but life's not over yet, I'm actually still in pretty damned good shape, and I can always dream that other treatments will be more effective. Go, Avastin!
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