Wednesday 16 September 2015

It's down to the mouse genes now

I'm tapping this into the lappy whilst sat tin the day unit having me chemo and I'm going to have to get a move on as my chemo is going to be a good deal shorter than it previously has been. That's because the clever people who work out what toxic chemicals to pour into me have decided that I can't have the FOLFIRI (Fluorouracil / Irinotecan / Folonic Acid) treatment any more as the side effects are now at the stage where they'd do me more harm than the cancer. Apparently despite helping shrink my tumours it's also been quietly screwing around with my bone marrow and having too much more would cause my bone marrow to fail which, with characteristic understatement, my oncologist informed me was "not compatible with life".

Yeah thanks for that.

So now it's down to just one drug, the monoclonal antibody Cetuximab.  I did blog a bit about this drug earlier this year but essentially its a clever little thing made by combining mouse and human genes and it essentially works by latching onto the receptors that make cancer cells grow and blocking them from getting the signal that causes them to divide.

Now this can just be dribbled into me for a couple of hours once every two weeks so there's no need to go through all the rigmarole of carting a bottle of the old chemo round for 46 hours and a further bonus is that this stuff doesn't make you feel sick. All you need is a whack of clorphenamine* and hydrocortisone to stop you going into anaphylactic shock (told you this chemo business is full of larks) and you're good to go.  So all in all the treatment regime just got a whole lot easier, shorter and gentler but of course it's now just down to the one drug to hold the bugger in check whilst hopefully my own immune system can attack it which is a bit scary. It does feel like you're flying on just the one engine**

However the biggest bonus is not feeling crap after treatment. So as soon as I'm done here I'm off for a celebratory burger at Byrons. 

* Piriton to you and me
** But as a PPL holder I'm quite happy doing that. Twins used to scare me more.

1 comment:

  1. A big shout out for the Cetuximab and a healthy diet for you and your immune system!