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Avastin: Day 1 of treatment

Posted Jul 23 2010 12:00am

So I woke up on the couch last Friday afternoon with wet pants and knowing where I was or what had happened. I was totally in a fog. I got up, walked around, found my two girls halfway down the driveway, confused as to what happened. I asked what happened and they walked up to to me and my two year old said she saw ‘daddy shaking and falled down.’ She acted it out. I had a seizure. I started to wake up, fumbled for my phone, called the first number I saw, my sister Lisa, and asked her to tell me what had happened.

She lives in NYC, so that would be pointless. She told me to take my meds, call Melissa, who was on way back from work, who she then called a couple of friends to stay with me till she got back from work. We were both scared about leaving our daughters alone. Not to mention, how sad it was to know that they had just witnessed my strong daddy shake, fall, hit his head on a large planter and then wander inside clueless as to what was occurring.

Friends came, Melissa and my son Jack were with them and the friends left soon after. Obviously, the brain thing is happening again. Melissa called Dr. Wong and he told her to give me more steroids and go on on Monday for my first Avastin treatment, which works on brain mets, and would also work on swelling and my two remaining lung mets. All small.

My sister and her family came up to help while we were dealing with all the medical nonsense. They showed up and were a huge help while Melissa and I drove to Boston for my first Avastin injection. They were also a huge help with the kids and around the house.

Melissa, my sister, and I drove down on Monday to Beth Israel for my brain MRI and Avastin injection. Here is the latest scan:

7.20.MRI (Right side swelling)

7.20.MRI (Right side swelling)

No, no new tumors, just an old, smaller tumor causing a huge swelling situation that is affecting that part of my brain. The Avastin should attack the old tumors, the tiny one on the left side, and I should be better in a couple weeks. I already feel better after one treatment and I can read and type again! And speak coherently. So we are all hopeful that the MDX-1106 has weakened the remaining tumors and we’ll all be happier next scan. Fact is, I truly believe that my two months of meditation, eating better, positive visualization and energy all helped keep this cancer at bay. Nothing seems to have grown, no new ones, just more swelling which could be gone by next scan.

We are all a bit more scared this time around, only because Melissa may be handling more than she could handle at least for a few months. She would have drive all the time, do all the shopping, deal with the kids all alone all the time, basically do everything all of us all the time. We would need babysitters since our family is NYC and can’t be around. So we have an offer on the table: Move back to Queens and live near them so if this crap happens again, they are close to help, time in need, and vice versa. It would be a tight community between my two sisters, my parents, and us. In a pinch we could rely on any of them and get help anytime without worry. It’s a serious consideration. We are thinking yes.

I can get the Avastin treatment at any hospital down there, see my doctors in Boston once a month, and I would still get the family and friend support I want and need down in NYC. Sure, the living would be tighter, but we all noticed how much better I do after a visit with the family. We’re leaning towards going. Not sure yet.

I get another injection in two weeks. No side effects yet, by the way from my first treatment. A little fatigue, but that’s not a big deal.

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