next phase of treatment: Taxol and Avastin

sleeping lion, keep
your eyes closed in deep slumber
you’re almost docile
♦     ♦     ♦     ♦     ♦
sweet dreams, dear lion
i will dance in your dream where
you cannot hurt me
♦     ♦     ♦     ♦     ♦

I have reached the end of my first series of chemotherapy. I am reminded again that I have breast cancer. Distant metastases. Advanced cancer. Cancer stage IV. Not curable. Some days I still can’t get it into my head what it all means. I read the statistics and choose to ignore them. In fact, I choose to ignore any of the information detailing life expectancy for distant metastases or any other topic that just fails to add to my happy day.

I concentrate, instead, on donning my fighting mood: reading articles about the success of treatment regimens and the hopefulness of new studies. For now my new regimen of treatment will include two drugs: one chemo, Taxol®, that kills the process of cell development during mitosis, and the other, an anti-angiogenesis drug, Avastin®, that starves the cancer tissue of blood. With my last protocol ending just a bit early, by two treatments, because of my hypersensitive reaction to the Carboplatin®, my chemo team is still getting test results and approvals to get me started on the new regimen. That means Friday I may have a day off except for getting an injection of Aranesp®, an erythropoiesis-stimulating drug that helps my bone marrow produce iron, apparently indicated by the recent blood panel. I really hate missing a treatment day, but by maintaining my fighting mood, I feel as though I stay ready to fight and let the lion know he can’t catch me unaware.

It never ceases to amaze me that reading about all of this and trying to understand it all is utterly exhausting. Working my usual schedule with the temperature here in Long Beach hitting 97 degrees, and even hotter in that TLSO brace, I was pleased to get through the day fairly well. This evening, however, I am taken aback that after an hour or so of reading about my new treatment, I am barely able to keep my eyes open. I suppose it’s time to give in and to get some sleep.

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