Friday, March 21, 2008

Chemotherapy "Holiday"!!

I'm still recovering from Monday's throat injection, and though I can make vocal tones I'm not fully "fixed" yet. He said it would take a couple of days to "break itself in" and shape the correct muscle to my throat, now that it is full of collagen. I'm closer to an obscene phone caller, now...rather than just an old geezer wheezing away.

The big news is that the chemotherapy regimen I was on is over for now. Didn't do this week's session, which would have been number ten. I get what amounts to a monthlong vacation! Then, we are replacing two drugs with one...with different expectations. That would generally be great news, but this change is a result of two things....

One, we aren't making the progress we should on the liver stuff. We need to see better CT results.

Two, my oncologist is afraid that the "pump drug" called Five FU might be the origin of the nerve/larynx issue...not really a virus after all. (No one can really tell since they don't biopsy nerves very often.) If the Five FU is the culprit, we can't chance having it do further neurological damage.

Rather than run that risk, and in order to make better progress on the liver tumors, we're making a change. The new deal will be to have something called "Erbitux" infused once a week...for an hour. (You remember Erbitux…from ImClone…it sent Martha Steward to jail…) I should be able to work that day, and maybe only miss the more entire weeks away from the office. Every third visit, I'd have the Iranotecan that I'm getting now. Both can be infused together, so my time in the opium den will decrease dramatically...and I am DONE wearing that pump around for three days. No more cords, showers with duct tape on the window, sleeping with the little jerk. I may experience some level of pimply rash, though supposedly not as challenging as the first go 'round with the experimental drug.

Just when I figured I had the schedule by the tail...enduring chemotherapy weeks for the first round of the NCAA's and then not another one until the Masters...I’m now back in the office. And I'll be a regular working stiff for the next couple of months. We don't know the length of the next regimen, it will depend on response...but at least we know I'm not growing new ones. THAT, of course, is a good thing.


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