Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Good graph day

Results of Monday's scan are in. Ol' girl Avastin is doing her job. The last sentence on the report is the coolest- "minimal disease present at this time."

OurFavoriteDrug has been in the news lately because she has been determined ineffective for the treatment of breast cancer, or, I suppose her stats in breast cancer don't justify her costs...and I don't know which political party it places me in when I think about the one woman for whom Avastin is working and the struggle she must face.

What if the FDA felt the same about Avastin in RCC? I simply don't care if it's working for everyone else, or if it costs the insurance company more than one life is worth, or if Genentech/Roche has to up their cost to pay their research nerd. It's working for us. So don't mess with it. Leave Avastin alone. There, politico over.

Dad will resume The Juice on February 14th. He's gonna have a little chemo-pole withdrawal, but I'm sure he'll find other things to do.

Goooooooooo Avastin! Be aggressive. Be. Be. Aggressive.


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Whoa man, you're spilling your protein!

Dad's been experiencing some swelling of his extremities as of late, and we've been trying to figure out the cause.  Kids don't lie, and last weekend Elliot asked him, "Paw Paw, why's your face like that? so... so... fat?"  Ha! His legs are holding water like crazy, and I had a dream that he dropped dead of a heart attack and the sweet sweet irony we'd all discuss at the funeral....  So I called and kinda begged for him to make another appointment with the heart doc ( swelling can be indicative of congestive heart failure, duh...).

 Not one one worry, or rush to seek medical attention, or be concerned that he's only wearing house shoes, The Patient finally called his nephrologist ( not the heart doctor, but a doctor all the same) and got an appointment.  Dr Hefner was equally concerned with his swelling and asked him to collect his pee in a jug for a day.  I guess that's a nephrologist's tool bag- a big jug of pee.  I haven't given up my quest for a cardiology appointment, and even pulled in Sisterbaby to make a call as well.  The baby in the family usually gets what she wants.

Anyway, it has been determined that Dad is spilling protein, probably because the un-rotten kidney isn't working up to par, and protein acts as a glue to keep your fluids where they need to be.  He prescribed a different diuretic and recommended a break from Avastin ( gasp!).
Dad got some quick relief from the diuretic, went to see Baltzy the Oncologist on Tuesday, wasn't supposed to get the Avastin, but did anyway.  He doesn't want to go without his Avastin, but Baltzy said that he's got to let his kinda-ok kidney catch up.  Dad is glad he snuck in an extra dose, as he doesn't want any false negatives on his scans on Monday.  He'll stay off Avastin until Feb 14th, then they'll re-evaluate.

Baltzy and Hefner have both been saying that his heart is fine, and that he didn't need to go to the cardiologist; however, in a sudden strike of divine intelligence, Baltzy came to his senses and told Dad that when two women get together and tell you to do something, just go ahead and do it.

Eye roll.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Good Living through Chemistry

I'm fine ! Really I am.
It's been 9 months since I blogged. Some of you may have been worried about me.... or not .
This is a picture of Erin, and Ezra (born November 15) He's the 5th grandchild. How could I not be fine ! Looks just like me, don't you think?
Erin wrote one time about the spooky white eyebrows. Well, the darker model is back. How could I not be fine ! Not long ago, Dr. Baltz said I looked 10 years younger. He didn't say that I looked 10 years younger than 60, just that I looked 10 years younger than I did a while back.
The Avastin/Interferon cocktail is apparently still working. I guess you saw where some mets were actually gone, gone, gone in the late October scans. We have another set of scans to do at the end of January. More news then. I've been on this regimen for 9 months now and still don't have it figured out and quantified like I did the Sutent. On the week that I just have the Interferon injection, I've come to expect ache joints, and headaches for 3+ days. Debbie says I'm grumpy....nah! On the other week, I get an IV of Avastin + the Interferon injection...and they add a steroid to the IV that totally masks the flu-like symtoms.
Body chemistry is a strange thing. All of a sudden, my blood sodium was low. That's a bad thing and it can kill you or make you crazy as a lesser symtom. I'm monitored so thoroughly that I didn't experience either so I've spent a few months building that back up.
Side effect of Chemo is water retention. Water retention means dilution of your sodium, so don't eat dietary salt, but drink yourself silly on GatorAid. Don't drink any water at all...brush your teeth with GatorAid. I'm sick of GatorAid!
I've been freezing to death since summer....finally we're working on hypothyroidism symtoms. I wish they had started earlier, because it's about to be well digger cold, and my thyroid isn't regulated yet.
I'll be 61 in less than a week. I'm fine...really I am.