Today I start the second cycle of STA-9090.
Cycle one went smoothly: twice a week infusions for three weeks in a roll, followed by a week break. I spoke too early when I said that I did not need any anti-nausea, Maura has to give me Kytril right before I start the treatment. In any case, the toxicity of this drug has been minimal.
The "pain" is that STA-9090 has to be administered intravenously even if you have a port. My double-port was removed last August, but I would have another one placed if the drug company, Syntha, allowed it to be to used for the infusions. My veins "dance away" every time Maura tries to get the line started. After all these years, my veins are still not cooperating!
My appetite has decreased and as a result I look anorexic, weighing 37 kg. The tumors are not popping-out like they do sometimes, I look like I am about to disappear. Ironically, I feel the presence of the tumors like I never did before. They are the cause of my permanent back pain. Until now, I had been among the "lucky" group of cancer patients that could say that cancer did not hurt...I must say that this pain, specially when combined with my chronic gastrointestinal problems, weakens my usual indestructible optimism.
In any case, I will be scanned - on the 21st of June - and we will see if these little monsters are growing. The last two surgeries happened in June... I just hope we can break the yearly cycle.
On a brighter note, I went to the beach this weekend and after several attempts I was able to dive in the beautiful cold cold Atlantic. The freezing water felt really good.