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.