Archive for Avastin

Chemo 11 Day 1, April 21,2011

Posted in Evidence-Based Medicine, Sustainable Health with tags , , , , on April 24, 2011 by Leane Roffey Line

Long chemo today, but I feel a successful one. Bloodwork shows the red blood count improved to 11.00 thanks to the Aranesep shot of a few weeks back, so we decided we didn’t need another one of those just yet. All the rest of the numbers were where the onc wanted to see them. Tumor marker CA15.3 was at 431.1, up just a tiny bit from last time we ran it, so he was okay with that. I got my premeds, Taxol, Avastin, and the Zometa, so it was a long session. It ran from roughly 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. However I feel better overall, so I consider it a success. The antibiotics seem to have cleared up the urinary tract infection, so all that worked. Probably the shortest doctor’s appt. on record, but everything checked out for him, including the lungs. Breathing sounded good he said.

In so far as aches and pains, like most people who have degenerative disc problems, allergies, and aches and pains associated with weather, my joints, muscles, and the rest of me has been right on key with the goofy weather we’ve been having here.

Strange as it seems, the chemo seems to have helped those conditions as well, and I feel like I am moving better than I did .

That’s about all that’s new for this week. Frankly, I”m amazed I’ve made it this far and certainly thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes.

Happy Easter to everyone.

Joule Watt


Chemo 18, December 30th, 2010

Posted in Evidence-Based Medicine, Non-Invasive Diagnosis, Sustainable Health with tags , , , on December 31, 2010 by Leane Roffey Line

Had a good meeting with the onc — he’s comfortable with me remaining on the Avastin, says from what he read the payment decisions are still on the table for those currently on the Avastin/Taxol protocol so we went ahead and did the Avastin yesterday. Pretty good treatment with the Taxol. I feel pretty good today, actually (it’s early on the 31st), ┬ámuch more mentally sharp too. I’m back to being able to play my online games and do a bit of reading so I’m getting good R and R at the moment.

Bloodwork looked as good as its ever been. RBC was 4.17 and Hemoglobin 11.7. WBC holding at 3.7, a bit low but okay.

Platlets a bit low but pulling up.

Chemistry all within range.

Because of the traveling pain in my back, we had xrays done yesterday to rule out any compression fractures. I’ll find out from the doc if there is a problem, meanwhile he renewed my Percoset for days when I have a flare up. The weather, I notice, has a lot to do with the pain. When its cold, it gets ridiculous.

I really like this new oncologist. I liked the old one also, but this new guy is really thorough, he even did a mini-check on my reflexes, hands and feet, and I’m pleased to say they checked out well, even strength! He also gave my lungs a thorough listen and can hear air moving everywhere, which to me means they too are improving.

We do a urine sample on days when I take Avastin. Yesterday’s sample was up a tad, and I admit I had a few cookies with coffee before coming to the clinic, so we’re doing a 24 Urine Specimen collection here at home (started this am at 4:14). The hospital lab will be open tomorrow (New Years Day) so we’ll be able to get another blood work sample done and drop the urine sample off. Am hoping this will not turn up any latent kidney or bladder problems, but if I have some kind of infection, this will find it and we can treat it.

The only side effect I’ve had from the Avastin, btw, is a common one per the doc, and that’s baby nosebleeds — they clear up quickly, and I’ve found that keeping the mucosa happy with some gentle saline nasal spray and treating it like a baby when it bleeds has been good for my nose. Some women report a bit heavier conditions with the bleeding, but I don’t know what they are doing to treat it when it occurs. There’s plenty of information online on how to treat nosebleeds so I advise everyone who has this problem to talk to the doc, then go look some stuff up.


I wanted to mention also, for any reader who has a Power Port installed, that there are days when there will be some problems with them. Yesterday was a classic — the nurse succeeded in getting an initial draw, but when she went to take the blood for the blood tests, nothing was coming out. We tried various positions to see if she could get blood flowing, but nothing worked. For the sake of time, then, we took blood out of my arm (my veins there have improved so we were able to do that after two stiks). The port cooperated for the inbound Chemo drip– the nurses tell me that some days you have problems even with these new Ports. My blood pressure by this time had shot up to 194/99, I just hate getting stuck, and our nurses are good ones. Pressure is pretty much back to normal today so it’s another hill climbed. Another time this happened she had time to do a saline flush which freed up whatever was causing my body to stall like that — there are days when that happened even with drawing blood with a needle, my veins (esp. on my left side) just have a mind of their own.





Dec. 26th, 2010

Posted in Evidence-Based Medicine, Sustainable Health with tags , on December 26, 2010 by Leane Roffey Line

I found out this week that the FDA withdrew Avastin from breast cancer treatment. I imagine if you pay for it yourself (it’s 8000 per month, yep the most expensive drug on the market), your oncologist can still approve it for the now controversial combination treatment with Taxol. No insurer will likely pay for it for a breast cancer application once this goes into effect (15 days?). I’m very disappointed in the decision since the combination has been effective for me. On SSDI, I can’t afford to pay out of pocket. Oh well, we’ll see what Prince Baron has to say on the topic when I see him Thursday coming. It’s the day after Christmas right now and I am going to try to maintain my good mood. We had a wonderful Christmas yesterday, complete with a good meal and presents under the tree, etc. Even sang a few Christmas Carols, even though due to the cancer (I have several patches per the last PET scan of activity) my voice comes and goes.

I consider myself lucky to have made it to this Christmas, actually, and was happy to celebrate the day.