Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Chemo - The Aftermath

For the last few days Karen's been carrying around a small pump which has been administering one of her chemo drugs. Today the pump was removed and the first treatment completed. Still plenty of residual side effects happening.

Here's a run down of what she's getting:
  • Avastin - The new wonder drug - VEG-F inhibitor, prevents the tumors from forming their own blood supply, they ultimately wither and die (what I've been visualizing) [LINK].
  • Oxaliplatin - A type of chemo. Something that makes you super sensitive to cold. Even breathing in sharply or opening the refrigerator can be painful [LINK].
  • 5FU also known as Fluorouracil - Another chemo, this is the one the pump administers over 46hours [LINK].
  • Leucovorin - a vitamin, also known as folinic acid, makes the 5FU more effective [LINK]
I think that's it. Estimated cost between $10,000 and $12,000 per treatment. Each one comes with it's own set of interesting side effects and combined they don't exactly cancel one another out. Unfortunately K hasn't eaten or slept much the last few days. I'm hoping she can build herself back up before the next treatment on the 28th May.

1 down, 11 to go.


Anonymous said...

Dasperate diseases by desperate remedies are relieved.Chem. is one of the desparates!

Anonymous said...


You can get through a lot when you don’t go it alone.

My coworkers, family & friends all know what is going on with my health and that its ok to talk with me about it. More than a few folks have since had colonoscopies. Talking helped my prospective and it replaced everyone’s fears with a better ability to understand and appropriately commiserate.

The Blog is a good idea, Hold Fast

MY Experience

Stage III colon cancer at 44 with bowel resection and follow on chemo (5FU +Oxaliplatin) treatment. Chemo seemed different each time, not very predictable, got through most of it before an allergic reaction to the oxaliplatin. Mundane “normal” life was a wonderful distraction from treatment. Finding other things to do was better than re-inventorying the things I couldn’t.

Stressed follow up exams, every 3 months and had metastatic colon cancer tumors on my liver, stage IV, at 46. On June 5th 2007, during surgery, my liver specialist will decide if she’ll remove the right side of my liver or just ablate what tumors she can.

Curative or palliative I’ll still find my own joys in life. Even if I can’t win the tour du France or wrangle the press at the white house.