Friday, 3 September 2010

Chemotherapy details

12-45 hrs: Very confusing - and several of you have asked about it - so I thought I would write it down and hope it lessens confusion.
  • Sept to mid Dec 2009 - I was treated with a combination chemo therapy - carboplatin + vinorelbine. By November - the cancer did not show up on the Xrays anymore - although it was still there - just reduced in size and virulence.
  • mid Dec to early August 2010- kept under control with vinorelbine, which keeps the cancer cells from growing again. This works for some indeterminate time and then the cancer becomes resistant and starts to spread again - called 'progression'. At this time my general health improved and I generally galivanted about - and got a lot stronger by going to the gym and doing weight training. From March I took this as a capsule once every two weeks - which was a user-friendly way of doing it.
I think it started to resist in late June - but gradually - and in a rather up-and-down manner. It was clear on an Xray in August that it was growing again quite scarily quickly.
  • August 2010: I had one dose of a chemo-therapy combination called GemCarbo (Carboplatin + Gemcitabine) to keep further growth at bay (which it did) whilst it was ascertained whether I would be suitable for taking a relatively new substance - Tarceva (Erlotinib).
  • From Sept 2nd 2010 - Tarceva (Erlotinib): I take this as a tablet every day. It too only works for a limited period - until the cells become resistant to it - but how limited is not known - it varies from person to person.

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