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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Diary Update Tuesday, 7 December 2010

LATEST UPDATE IS HERE  Wednesday, 8 December 2010 11:25 AM.

Today’s chemotherapy
   The penultimate chemo session is over. It went well.
   The left hand/wrist/arm was so sore from the long session yesterday that we tried the right – and it worked a treat. In fact, the geyser effect meant that there was blood pumping everywhere when they opened the vein! Lucky I’m not quite Doc Martin with his phobia about blood but it was pretty impressive. But it’s over now and just one more to go, ever! - tomorrow.

About last night….
   Last night wasn’t so good and sleep was a bit hard to find. Some nausea and the taste of all those IV chemicals in my mouth and in my nostrils…. You don’t want to know. I long to get them at least out of my system, if not the regular daily medications I will need always. It seems to take at least three weeks – usually just in time for the next round of infusions – but not any more after December. Cytotoxins, begone!

We weren’t aware of this
   Some interesting things about the Avastin treatment. If you’ve been following things more closely than it’s reasonable for anyone to expect, then you will know that I have been taking the Avastin in conjunction with the chemotherapy monthly treatments, as the combination seems to work well for as long as I have chemotherapy.
   We always found it curious that we were supplied with regular three-week treatments for the month during chemo. I assumed that the dosage of Avastin was recalculated up to that required for four weeks at that time, but it wasn’t.
   I have no problem or complaint with that except that we found, the longer the chemo treatment went on, the more obvious it was becoming that three weeks’ supply isn’t really enough for four weeks. As Tracey said, the wind-up doll was ticking down towards the end, and I was certainly feeling it in every way. And as I said earlier [see Added Monday, 6 December 2010  1:40 PM], the tumour I am sure was taking advantage of the time to stir back into action fully again, as indicated by the headaches in the tumour area (which now seem to have disappeared. The ‘rat’ has been forced back into hibernation by the new hit of Avastin, I hope.)
   Now, what I was getting to, was that I will have the Avastin dose every three weeks following the end of chemotherapy, not four. Three weeks is how it should be according to their formula. I should not suffer the winding-down effect, as the next Avastin session is in 3 weeks (Christian’s birthday!)
   And, I sincerely hope, the ‘rat’ will not be allowed to wake from hibernation….

The cost
   Another piece of good news is that Tracey found out this morning that the company supplying Avastin has locked in that it will supply every three weeks the dose of Avastin free of charge.
   In real terms then, if I had to pay for it on the basis we have been, I would be on a $300/day drug habit! Now that’s scary.


  1. That sounds to be good news overall; possibly even better than the preceding regime -we hope :) It's great about the avastin being free now. So by Christmas you should be beginning to feel almost 'normal' (considering everything). I'm sure we all hope so.

  2. That's the plan, Julie! The timing is about right. Good orchestration by Tracey!

  3. A $300 a day habit, eh? Well, since you look just like John Hamm, you wouldn't have any trouble raising that on the street corner :).

    I expect you'll be around for a long while, yet, thanks to your subsidised habit. I'll bet your doctor is pleased and feeling very privileged to have a front row seat in the Avastin performance.

    I know this drug isn't a final cure, but one day it will no doubt be a key part of a successful treatment for GBM4. Like small pox -- begone!!!

  4. Sounds like a great outcome and hopefully a truly merry xmas. :) Ingrid


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