July 01, 2011

Next step

We met with Dr G yesterday and he confirmed that my CA 27.29 tumor marker had dropped more than 150 points since the April high of 299. This is good news indeed!

The next step is to continue more of the same treatment, since it appears to be working so well. That would be Abraxane plus Avastin, hopefully despite the FDA's recommendation to their chair not to approve Avastin for metastatic breast cancer. It is still possible for a physician to treat a patient "off label," meaning to use a drug for a condition for which the FDA has not approved it. But someone has to pay....

Avastin is clearly working well for me as a booster accompaniment to Abraxane. When I was on Abraxane alone a year ago, we did not see such a dramatic drop in my tumor marker.

I expect I may have to request a case manager from my health insurance company to help me get approval for off label use of Avastin, should the FDA chair support the committee's recommendation. But I am a good squeaky wheel, patient (what else do I have but time?), pleasant (or so I have been told) and persistent in getting what I need to continue my quality of life.

In other news, I may be overdoing it these past few days. After seeing Dr G yesterday, we had lunch, I went to my support group while RIk read a book, came home and made dinner for a sick family in our congregation, then went to a wedding reception for Rik's colleague from Roosevelt high school. It might have been a but much -- I didn't sleep well for a second night in a row and plan to use the ceiling fan to cool the room tonight in an effort to get better sleep without drugs.

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