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September 6, 2007

No Chemo Yet

Turns out I had a pretty good week. Last weekend at the hospital I got my usual "therapy" from the staff, support and encouragement. I also had an interesting chat with an ER doctor about books and she reccomended two for me. This was topped off by a very touching "note" from an old friend. I still was dreading my doctor visit on Wed. fearing the worst. The nurse gave me an advance on what might be said when she told me my CEA score had gone down. I went from a 7 to 25 to 169 and now it's back down to 118. The doctor came in with a smile and actually sat down to talk. He was very pleased since we only had two Avastin treatments before the blood test. So, no chemo and continue the Avastin for 3 months and then my usual cat scan. The statistics show that only 1 out of 8 respond to Avastin when it is used alone, with no chemo with it. I am one of the lucky ones where Avastin is working all by its lonesome self. We did talk about my two concerns. Why did we go 4 months when we had some growth after 2 months. He said it was a judgement call and we really needed to see how the disease would act without the drugs. I think that was as close as he would get to saying maybe we shouldn't have done it. The growth on my suture line should not be a problem he thinks. The drugs should take care of it. All in all, a pretty good visit for a change, even though I had to wait in the treatment room for 40 minutes to see him. Amazing how ones mood can change with a very few words. I'm feeling good and I wish all of you good health until next time.

Posted by Robert at 2:25 PM | Comments (3)

September 20, 2007

Drugs and Your Brain

Now that I'm back on my Avastin routine, treatment every two weeks, I really don't have much I can say. So, I'm going to talk about two questions I have been "pondering" lately. First, why am I having such vivid memories of past events? Second, could drugs, in my case Avastin, be affecting my brain cells? Some background to this. In promoting a National Geographic special the newspaper said this: "Our brain, for example, includes 100 billion cells, about as many as the stars in the Milky Way. What did you do with your neurons today?" It is my belief that the brain has stored everything that has ever happened to you, a computer hard drive of sorts. We all get the question occasionaly "do you remember when . . ." and most times we do. What is happening to me is it goes much further. Without being asked something, just a comment about something triggers a response in my brain that brings up an event related to the comment and in vivid detail although it may have happened 50 years ago. An example, we took a trip west some 8 or 9 years ago. I can take you step by step from the time we flew out of Louisville until we returned, naming some 50 events that happened. Even while typing this those events are racing through my mind without even trying to recall them. Things pop into my head for no reason and no prompting, just all of a sudden something that happened years ago is recalled. No, I'm really not crazy! As to my second question, this all seemed to begin when I went on just the Avastin program which really makes me wonder if the Avastin is the cause. Now, with just writing this about Avastin, my brain wants to start reviewing all my treatment program. Wierd!! I didn't bring this up to the doctor on my last visit as it is just since then that I wondered if Avastin could be the cause. No telling what he would say, probably after laughing at me. Yes, in a way it is funny. It is not something causing any problems and it certainly is interesting on what memories might surface and what memories are still hidden and won't surface. Maybe I should write the Avastin folks and see what they say. I do know that it is not going to go away and maybe is becoming more intense, again making me feel Avastin is the cause. I could go on with more examples, but I think I said enough for you to get my point across. It would really be interesting to me to get some responses about this "condition". In the meantime, what did you do with your neurons today? Good health to all of you.

Posted by Robert at 3:29 PM | Comments (0)