changing to Halavan (eribulin) from Doxil

At the end of the day yesterday after my two reactions to my first Doxil® infusion, my oncologist’s nurse came to see me at the infusion center and to update me on what was next. Obviously, my oncologist was taking me off the Doxil and changing me to another chemo, which, as it turns out, would be eribulin (Halavan®). She does not want to wait to start me on it, so the schedule is Monday and then eight days forward to Monday with another infusion as the regimen calls for an infusion on days 1 and 8 of a 21-day cycle. Between the two infusions I will be administering Neupogen® to boost my white blood cell count, which Halaven is known to affect adversely.

When I had my primary treatment in 2004, I took Leukine® to boost my white blood cells. I had a strange reaction to that medication, which took a while for my oncology team to decipher. Apparently a rare side effect was a fever, something no one had really seen previously. When I would start my Leukine shots, the fever would come shortly after and remain for the week, requiring me to sit on the sofa with a thermometer in my mouth for hourly checks to keep it down. It should shoot up into the precarious zone if I did not prevent that from happening. I had so many nights that it should shoot up, and Marvin and I would work hard to get it back down to avoid a trip to the emergency room. They always recommended that I go even though I would explain we knew what the fever was from; they said you cannot depend on the cause always being the same, so we would try to deal with it. One night was especially frightening when it spiked, and we could not get it down. It was the last time I argued with Marvin about what we should do in such cases. I have learned slowly that my own judgment can be occasionally flawed, a fact I reluctantly admit. I have noticed that Neupogen seems to reign in popularity for boosting white blood cell counts during cancer treatment. Neulasta might be less popular because it is a lot more expensive.

Despite the adventures yesterday I seem to be doing well today, recovering from the exhaustion caused by the reactions. This boosts my hope that I have some oomph to counteract the ill effects of both the cancer and the treatment. How ironic I think it is that the treatment for this disease is so severe. When I originally had chemo during my primary treatment, I remember seeing the warning label on the Adriamyacin® (doxurubicin) of the AC&T dose dense regimen that I started in August 2004, that noted it should never touch the skin. Yet, that solution was transporting through our veins to treat the cancer. How amazing that our bodies can endure so much, and I remind myself of that every time I feel lousy from treatment. Our bodies are miracles that we often forget possess amazing abilities; during cancer treatment when we endure poisons to kill the cancer, and also our healthy cells, it is remarkable that we bounce back with the other blessed healthy part of us.

Although I have come to dislike the battle metaphors, I must admit that they seem appropriate at times like this when launching a new attack on advancing cancer. I also feel a great need to try to become stronger so that I can deal with the general state of being that comes with a new chemo. For Xeloda®, the two worst side effects were the hand-foot syndrome and the fatigue. Other than that, it was not too bad. I wish it had worked longer for me.

So tomorrow I will relax and try to restore myself in preparation for Monday’s treatment. I have been thinking about a young man I met just before my treatment yesterday who is in for a sarcoma on his lower spine. He was a sweetheart, and we talked in the cubicle we shared before I moved to another. I can’t help but think about what pain he was enduring and hope that he is more comfortable today after receiving some attention from his oncology team yesterday. Bless you, Travis.

To all of my online support and peanut gallery, I thank you again and again for cheering me up and encouraging me during all of these potentially discouraging moments. I hang on  your words,  your hugs,  your love. You are all a very cherished part of my life. Love and hugs to all of you.

5 6 7 8
© 2004–12 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.

9 responses to “changing to Halavan (eribulin) from Doxil

  1. Still cheering you on dear Lady! You will be on my mind Monday, and I hope it goes well. Sending love and prayers, and wishes of dreams of dancing. ♥

  2. “Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul
    And sings the tune without the words
    And never stops at all.”
    ― Emily Dickinson
    Prayers for never ending hope. You’re one amazing woman, Donna. ♥

  3. Me too…still cheering! Sending you love, hugs and positive energy! Sweet dreams of dancing and a restful night and day tomorrow! Will be thinking of you Monday. Thank that wonderful man of yours for all the updates!

  4. {{{{ HUG }}}}

  5. Donna, my friend…
    Holding you close. Wishing I was closer in real life so I could be of more help to you…..
    Hugs and love,

  6. Donna, sending you so many good wishes and prayers for an easy time of it Monday. I’ll be thinking of you. Have a restful tomorrow, and do something you enjoy. Catch up on the eagle news. Just know that you have so many of us cheering you on. What a shining example you are!

  7. I am praying that the next chemo will have minimum side effects. That would be such a gift. Believe, “Every hand that touches me is a caring loving hand”.

  8. Love and Hug’s to you Donna, with loads of energy sent your way. Your are always in my thoughts, I hope you are feeling rested and “hydrated”.

  9. Hi Donna. I am so glad you are not doing adriamiacin. Although everyone is different my friend did very well with side effects of xeloda as well as the Halaven. I am hoping it agrees with you as well as it agreed with her. Her blood was usually awful on chemo drugs but held up well on Halaven. Of course I can understand your concern with the neupogen the way to reacted before to Leukine®. Hopefully the neupogen will be different and they can check your whites better with it over neulasta which lasts 14 days rather than neupogen which is like a daily version and dose.I am really praying that the Halaven is a great choice after all you have been through. As always prayers and hugs your way from your fearless friend…XoXoXo-Susan

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