After 6 rounds of FOLFOX and Avastin, it was decided that the toxicity that was associated with the Oxaliplatin was starting to get too much, and so round 7 and 8 were only Avastin and 5-Fluoro-uracil.
I have probably lost about 50% of my sensation to light touch at the end of my fingers, and the effects of Oxaliplatin can continue to worsen for a period of time after stopping. Those effects are also cumulative with each round and generally considered to be irreversible. The irreversibility is perhaps a worst case scenario, as when had Oxaliplatin 5 years ago, I got to the point where I couldn’t touch type or do up buttons without looking at what I was doing, but after about 6 months I had recovered at least 95% of that sensation back.
The sequelae of this change in regime are twofold. Firstly, chemo should be much more tolerable. Oxaliplatin was the most toxic of the three agents I was on, and it was a big reason why I had to stop work last year; it took longer to recover from, and I never rebounded back as well between rounds.
Secondly, there is a real risk that response to therapy will change, and not for the better. There is every possibility that the response that was demonstrated on the last CT could have been due to Oxaliplatin, or the FOLFOX/Avastin combination. Stopping it, and continuing on 5-FU and Avastin alone may very well have a much reduced efficacy. This is something that we won’t really know for a few more rounds. For the time being, my CEA levels continue to slowly trend down, indicating that after two rounds of only Avastin and 5-FU, there isn’t a dramatic reversal in fortune. I think on first principles, its safe to assume that in the absence of Oxaliplatin, I am on a less effective treatment, how that actually works out in reality is something that only time will tell.
Overall, the last two rounds of chemo have been an improvement, although I haven’t recovered as quickly between rounds as I might have expected in the absence of Oxaliplatin. Hopefully over time this will improve.
This week we are down in Dunedin visiting Hannah’s parents and family and enjoying showing off Elise. She was well behaved on the flight down and seems to be adjusting to the somewhat abrupt change in temperature at the other end of the country.
In other news, I have had a CT recently which showed further promising results, of which I will go into detail in another post once I have cast my own eyes over the report and images.
Until next time…
This was taken around 7 in the morning just after I woke up on our recently holiday in dunedin. I was able to capture the fog on the other side of the bay just starting to lift out of the valley Due to the distance involved, it was a bit of a low contrast shot, but it captures the mood and the lighting at the time.
Shutter 1/80, f/11, ISO 400, 74mm
Over the past two months I have been extremely privileged to travel around the country and speak at Promise Keepers events. For those of you who don’t know what Promise Keepers is, it is basically a men’s based movement that seeks to provide inspiration and change in the live’s of men. It not only spiritually engages with them, but also helps to provide practical advice on how to look after their marriage, and how to be effective role models in the live’s of their kids. The latter part being particularly important today when there are such a huge number of absent fathers.
I was invited to speak at Dunedin and Tauranga in their 3rd session, as well as the youth section in Dunedin, Christchurch, Tauranga and Auckland. After the main session in Dunedin, the invitation was extended to speak in the main event at Christchurch and Auckland as well, but in a slightly different capacity.
The Auckland event was the final big shindig, with over 2500 people in attendence, and was located at the TelstraClear arena down in Manukau. It was really great to be able to contribute in such a way that will hopefully change lives.
With the events all over, I can start to share some videos from them, this one, and the one from Auckland when it becomes available. For those of you who do not share my faith, I will warn you that these videos have very high faith based content in them, but that should not exclude the underlying messages I was trying to communicate. 🙂
So, without further adieu, Promise Keepers Dunedin…….
Right now I’m just over a week into the 6th round. I’ve just turned around, and am no longer the dreary miserable soul I was about 4 days ago. This round has been tough, both with symptoms as well as the emotional and mental toll it has taken. It would be fair to say that on Monday and Tuesday this week, (days 4 and 5 post infusion) I was pretty miserable. Hannah can back me up on that one. I think this is largely from being utterly sick of feeling sick, as well as just the fact that feeling sick takes its toll mentally over time. I’m really really not looking forward to the next two rounds of chemo, its starting to really drag, and I CAN’T WAIT till its all over.
On a slightly different note, I’m currently down in the (not) sunny south, Hannah and I are in Dunedin for 10 days visiting her parents. Its freezing and rainy and a little snowy on occasion, but my cold symptoms are slowly subsiding, so I’m beginning to handle the temperature down here. There are lots of open fires in my life right now. Anyway, it means I’ll be a little slack at the blog for the next bit.