Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Sorry to have been gone so long.

Last month, my CA125 jumped from 19 to 24. That spurred me to request a CT scan, and my doc was definitely on board with that. We waited a month, and I had the scan this past Friday, and a doctors appointment yesterday.

The scan showed both good news and bad news. The good news is - still no NEW cancer growth! Wow! That is pretty amazing, and I believe it must be the vaccine that is preventing any new cancer implants.

The bad news is - the stuff that is there (nodules throughout my abdomen) has grown. Mostly, they have only grown only about 1/2 cm each in the three months since my last scan. My CA125 is up to 26 now as well. Although upsetting, this news was not wholly unexpected (since my CA125 had been creeping up).

So, we discussed options. The doc mentioned several different strategies. We can wait a few more months before doing anything - we can try hormonal therapy (I have to ask her more about this in the future) - I can have another surgery, and then have heated chemotherapy applied directly in my abdomen - or we can try Avastin. She really thought that the Avastin was the best option for me with "the minimal amount of cancer" that I currently have.

Avastin is a biological therapy (not really a chemo) that targets a protein found in many cancer cell teypes, and halts cancer growth. I think that it keeps the body from providing blood supply to cancer. (I will be researching this more). Usually, it is given in conjunction with chemotherapy drugs, but the doctor said that they have been using it as a single agent drug (meaning that Avastin is all I will be getting). I am happy about that, since I really have no faith in chemotherapy (I've been through three types so far, and none have worked in the least).

So I started treatment yesterday - nothing like jumping in feet first! :) I feel fine, and it is not supposed to really have many side effects. Of course, the side effects that it may have are bad. They are rare - but bad. For example - the worst would be bowel perforation. I may have high blood pressure, and have to take medication for it as a result of this medication. Also, it can cause some kidney problems. I have the treatment every three weeks - we will go three rounds, and then another scan to see if it is effective.

The big hope is that the Avastin takes care of the one lymph node that is located outside of my abdominal cavity (just outside of it). Then I would have surgery again to remove everything - and the heated chemotherapy directly into the abdomen. The heated chemo can only be used if cancer is confined to the abdominal cavity (for obvious reasons).

I will update again soon, I promise. Especially now that I am in full treatment again...