Saturday, November 13, 2010
Diary Update Saturday, 13 November 2010
It's been a hard week. Each month, the chemotherapy has felt more unpleasant, more nauseating, more wearying. There's a leprechaun in my stomach trying to kick a football around. I try to get up from the chair and feel that I am on Jupiter in terms of gravity. My body stinks of chemicals and I have a taste in my mouth as if I have been sucking on salted week-old roadkill. A fox, maybe.
I used to wonder, before I had IV chemotherapy, why chemo was so depressing. I mean, if you feel nauseous for up to a week, you buy yourself three weeks feeling OK, right? Is that such a bad deal?
I think you have to experience it to understand. I certainly didn't last year when a friend said she would die rather than have chemotherapy again, even though the non-chemo weeks were tolerable. I couldn't imagine not having the treatment, even if it made me feel utterly miserable for one week in four.
But it's not that. For the rest of the time, there are other issues to contend with, constantly. Prolonged chemotherapy is too hard on internal organs, already pushed to their limit because of other stabilising medications they have to deal with.
Heart, kidneys, liver especially. And what about the poor old stomach?
I am amazed at the resilience of the human body, but it can't be put under infinite pressure.
All I can say is, I'm glad that the next chemotherapy will be the last. It WILL be the last, unless there's some extraordinarily compelling reason for me to change my mind on that, and I can't imagine what that could be. Hereafter, Avastin will have to do the job. My life is is your hands, Genentech/Roche pharmaceutical company. Not to mention the manufacturers of Karvea, Keppra, and Dilantin.
Sleep is the best refuge. That's where I am going. Back to bed. Good morning, folks. Maybe I will feel better when I wake up again.
Bevacizumab (trade name Avastin, Genentech/Roche) is a humanized monoclonal antibody that recognizes and blocks vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A). VEGF-A is a chemical signal that stimulates the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), especially in cancer.... Bevacizumab was the first clinically available angiogenesis inhibitor....
(Thanks, Wikipedia, for that last bit. May I say that Bevacizumab is the most unpronounceable name in the history of modern medicine! You could just as easily pronounce it backwards as forwards. Apologies if your name happens to be Mr/MS Bevacizumab.)