Avastin

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Magnolia
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Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:38 pm
Location: Virginia

Avastin

Postby Magnolia » Mon Jul 24, 2006 1:57 pm

Anybody here on Avastin? I have Stage III and I'm on a clinical trial using Folfox with and without Avastin. I'm in the "with" group. The Avastin will continue for six months after the Folfox ends. The only side effect I'm having is nosebleeds. I had one last night when we had company and hid in the bedroom so I wouldn't upset anybody. Then I started feeling sorry for myself because I was all alone in the bedroom with a nosebleed so no one ELSE would get upset. *I* was the one having the nosebleed. I was the one with cancer. Why was I protecting everyone else? I should have had everyone fussing over me and taking care of me. I just have to learn to ask for what I need. I'm no good at that. I was a nurse for too long. An oncology nurse at that. I don't do "patient" well.

Anyway, if anyone else is on Avastin and having any similar or different experiences with it, I'd be interested to know. Especially if anyone is getting ONLY Avastin, like I will be in a couple of months. It's a very different drug from all the others.

rthornton
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Avastin

Postby rthornton » Mon Jul 24, 2006 2:41 pm

I am using Avastin as a single agent therapy for a maintenance program (meaning to hopefully prevent a recurrence). When I was diagnosed stage four last May I started 5FU/Oxaliplatin/Avastin, did that for eight cycles although I had a PET scan after six that showed the cancer was gone (I had my colon removed before starting chemotherapy, so the chemo was to get rid of several liver mets, which it did), then took a break, then tried CPT-11 + Erbitux but the CPT-11 made me sicker than I've ever been in my entire life, so I used only Erbitux from last November until January, then from January until mid April it was Erbitux + Avastin, and I got damn sick of the Erbirash so it's just been Avastin since mid June (from early May to mid June I was on a total break from all chemotherapy). Avastin is really easy for me ... so side effects at all. I don't KNOW if it's keeping me from having a recurrence, but I don't mind taking it since I have no unpleasant side effects (yet). And for all I know I might have a recurrence ... I get a PET scan this week to find out.

And ... I totally know what you mean about protecting others. I don't really discuss all the aspects of having cancer with family/friends because I keep thinking they are already worried enough about me. If they knew how stressed, worried, depressed, even angry I get sometimes ... well, I don't know. I realize it's not reasonable to try to put on a happy face all the time, but I've talked to several other cancer patients that do the same thing. So, yeah, I understand all that you are saying about protecting those around you.

Well, good luck with the Avastin.

Rodney

michele
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:34 pm

avastin

Postby michele » Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:33 am

I did take Avastin for 5 treatments along with the Folfox for my stage 3c cancer. I am also a nurse and knew what side effects to look out for. The nosebleeds are not unusual unfortunatley, but my problem was my blood pressure got out of control and even sent me to the hospital once. So, we had to stop the avastin. It is rare for that to happen. I guess I was one of the lucky 2%. I really hated to stop because I know how much of a benefit avastin can be for us, but had no choice.

I am sorry you felt so isolated from your company with the nosebleed. At least you can vent on this site. I don't post often, but I get much encouragement from the postings that I read.

michele
Diagnosed Dec 2005 stage 3C
LAR Dec 2005
Mom finished chemo for stage 3B Jan 2006
I had chemo Feb 2006-Aug 2007
Currently NED

Magnolia
Posts: 1514
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:38 pm
Location: Virginia

Postby Magnolia » Wed Jul 26, 2006 2:05 pm

Thanks for the replies, Rodney and Michelle. Avastin is such a unique drug, it's nice to be able to compare notes.

Michelle, it's very nice to hear from another nurse who has stage IIIC just like me. Kindred souls. Except my BP is OK so far. I've had six cycles. Going in for number seven on Monday. Any chance you can try Erbitux?

J. R.
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 2:48 pm

Postby J. R. » Wed Jul 26, 2006 2:49 pm

I LOVE AVASTIN. I'm advaced stage IV with unresectable liver mets. Started chemo in early Mar '05 and went on a break in mid Aug '05. I never stopped the Avastin traetments, and so far the Avastin is keeping my cancer from progressing. Side effects are very minimul and I feel pretty good most of the time...

michele
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 6:34 pm

avastin

Postby michele » Wed Jul 26, 2006 4:09 pm

Magnolia,

I am actually getting ready to finish treatment next week. That is as long as there are no recurrences. I will then go into monitoring mode for several years. I pray all goes well for you. I am glad the BP thing is not affecting you.

I am just so excited that I will be back at work soon. I do miss it so.

michele
Diagnosed Dec 2005 stage 3C

LAR Dec 2005

Mom finished chemo for stage 3B Jan 2006

I had chemo Feb 2006-Aug 2007

Currently NED

Magnolia
Posts: 1514
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:38 pm
Location: Virginia

Postby Magnolia » Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:23 pm

Michele,

I've been working very part time as a nurse in a doctor's office. I've been a nurse for 30 years, but I'm also a PA. I've been a GYN clinician since '93, and was an oncology nurse in the '80s. I took some time off to take care of a terminally ill relative for a year. ( She did NOT have cancer. She was diabetic.) I was diagnosed a month after she died. I'm REALLY looking forward to getting back to more regular work with more hours. I hope I don't have to work full time, though. I like this part time stuff. Leaves some time to be a "sandwich". I have time for my elderly mom and aunt, and my nine year old. Nursing gives me a lot more flexibility than PA work, but I'd like to get back to being a PA eventually. I'm torn between my two professions, but in the right setting, I can blend them nicely. The best docs and PA's think like nurses anyway. Mine does.

What area do you work in?

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cynnycal
Posts: 215
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: chicago

Postby cynnycal » Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:43 am

i took avastin with my folfox, didn't have much for side effects from it. i did have bloody noses (well, not really bloody, but i'd have lots of boogers that were all bloody. so i ended up picking my nose alot. real attractive)

i don't know if i'll be taking it alone later on. i'll ask my doc.

and yes, i know i've hidden so much from my friends and family. but i guess it's just how it goes. i think people with cancer feel this need to shield others.
i know personally i've sincerely considered getting rid of my boyfriend. chasing him off if you will. and only b/c i feel guilty about taking him down this road with me.
i know that if i told him to buzz off he wouldn't. i know he'd tell me that "if you have cancer, WE have cancer, i'm here for you, i WANT to be blah blah blah" but sometimes i wish i could make him go away. go find some other girl who is 'normal' and won't have all these issues.
I don't want to be stuck with this, why would i want to stick anyone else with it?
and i know my mom and family worry so much as it is, most of the time i would rather go to my doctors and tell them stuff, rather than let it out to my mom...b/c i know she's stressing so much that it just might break her. and i need her to be herself, and not breaking down, b/c then it makes it harder for me.
noone wants to see loved ones suffering...even if that suffering is referring to teh stress and worry a caregiver goes through...
who knows...there doesn't seem to be a good remedy for the 'cancer-guilt'

wendy_2121

Avastin only

Postby wendy_2121 » Thu Jul 27, 2006 12:05 pm

I was one of the people in the same study. I completed 12 rounds of FOLFOX plus Avastin in May 2006. Today I will get my 5th Avastin only infusion. It's been 2 months since I finished the FOLFOX and I am feeling better every day. My nose never actually bled like a nosebleed, but it was constantly runny. Everytime I blew my nose (several hundred times a day!), it was always bloody. The weirdest part of the "nose thing" [and I'm not trying to gross anyone out] was first thing every morning I would literarlly blow chunks out my nose the size of my thumb nail. once My nose is not nearly as sore and runny now as it was 2 months ago.

I have noticed in the last 3 weeks that my gums are more sensitive and bleed when I brush my teeth and any little knick or cut bleeds for a long time. I've never had any trouble with bruising, but last time I was infused, my port site bruised and so did the area from the blood draw on my arm.

If you can make it through the FOLFOX, taking Avastin alone is nothing!

Magnolia
Posts: 1514
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:38 pm
Location: Virginia

Postby Magnolia » Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:45 pm

My nose actually BLEEDS. And I blow big clots out every morning. And I HAVE to pick the bloody boogers out. They're sharp and they hurt. BUT I know Avastin is the new wonder drug. I'm happy to have it.

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cynnycal
Posts: 215
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: chicago

Postby cynnycal » Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:04 pm

yea, my doc looked in my nose when i told him that whenever i blew my nose it was bloody and he says "oh my it's bulky in there"
i said "what?! Bulky? what's THAT supposed to mean"
he just told me it was b/c chemo irritates the mucous membrane. which of course runs from your nose and mouth down your whole GI tract to your anus.
yyyaaaaaaaay!
i guess of all the possible side effects i COULD get, i won't complain. It just is kinda unnerving anytime you see blood. from any oriface.


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