another change

Mark and I just returned for the very swanky new cancer center downtown with not-so-swanky news.

The nodules in my lungs are still growing. Slowly.

So, time to change drugs again. This time it’s IV chemo and from here on out any meds I have will be IV, so I also need a port.

Chemo starts tomorrow. But I get to have my favorite nurse, Beth.

I will be on two different drugs:

Gemzar: The new chemo. I will get this drug IV every Tuesday. It’s a short IV, about 45 minutes. Side effects do not typically include hair loss or nausea.

Avistan: This is a new drug and has been very effective. It essentially blocks the creation of new blood vessels (which cancer tumors rely on for nutrients for growth). It has no side effects to speak of, but also aids in the efficacy of chemotherapy delivery. This will be administered IV every 2 weeks, but possibly won’t start until after I have a port since it makes it harder for wounds to heal.

And, yep, I’ll have a port. Permanently. Yuck.

As for me, 30 minutes after leaving the cancer center, I feel fine. I’m ready to go about my day. I feel no need to make exceptional plans, just manage my schedule with school things starting up this week. I’m feeling normal. And determined to hold onto that feeling. On that, I could obviously use a little help.

14 thoughts on “another change

  1. Hi Natasha:

    I appreciate the update and especially like to know just what you need prayers for. I know when I say your name, God knows exactly what is on your mind. That’s part of his wonder.

    Bless you for your enthusiasm for those students who need a dose of your attention. It’s a gift you so willingly share with them.
    Love,
    Aunt Sue

  2. I will pray for that normal feeling to stay constant. I hope that school is an encouraging and busy place for you to be; all those kids and their energy! love you Tash…

  3. Glad to have an update, Natasha!

    Last year, in helping my mother in her battle against inflammatory breast cancer, I was part of an amazing online loop of women fighting that deadly form of breast cancer. MANY of them were on Gezmar and Avastin, and it was tremendously successful for them. I am praying for just such news for you.

    Can you get a CVCath (or other chest port), or one of the sub-cutaneous ports that you access through the skin? It seems that those have fewer long-term issues than the stupid long-lines, and much less of a pain to deal with.

    I am praying for you daily, friend, and inspired by your courage and faith!

    Also, Tim is getting married in GR on Sept. 13 (in Calvin Seminary Chapel!) Maybe we can touch base while we’re out there?!

    Love,
    Chris, more than half-way through my radiation treatments, facing a CT next week, and then a complete PET/CT on October 1, and very grateful that things have gone so well so far!

  4. Tash:
    I am truly sorry for not being able, and not getting to see you and mark, zoe and daisy on our last trip to Michigan. I feel that I will be at a loss until next time, since I won’t be getting my fix of “the image of cool” that you and mark seem to have.

    I do love you guys and am praying for Gods strength, peace and love to fill us all.

    Also can’t wait to trade some trade secrets of art of slight of hand with mark.

    love
    laci

  5. Just a short note to reassure you of our constant
    prayers. Praying that the new treatments will be
    effective. We love you so very much!

  6. Tash (the normal one :)

    When can we see a chick flick? Drown ourselves in love or intrigue? No more chatting about it- let’s set a date.

    Please let me know when you feel like the rush of school starting in under control and we could hang- I’d love to, and I love you!!!

    Jennifer

  7. kisses.
    hugs.
    rock band.
    food.
    prayers.
    random visits.
    more hugs.
    rainbow vac.

    these are the things i can help you with anytime you want. you want me to rainbow vac at 2 am? done. you want someone to come and drink all your coffee? done.
    tash, we love you and marc and zoe like crazy. i am saddened to hear about this news, but so happy to hear about new drugs and a good nurse.
    kisses on your gorgeous face,
    km.

  8. well…as you know I’m a steady presence every 2 weeks. that will continue until you throw me out on my keester.

    love, hugs and many prayers to you all.

    TASH’Snancy

    ps: I am ALL YOURS now…my last day at Aunt Roze’s was yesterday…so no more arguing! = )

  9. Tash-

    We’ve been without a computer for the past 11 days, so I’m only just now reading your update. Having just read Amy DeVries’ care page as well, I’m just so frustrated by this thing called “cancer.” Time to knock it on its a**!! Sorry for not being eloquent – just wanted you to know that I love you, pray for you and want so very much for God to take care of your wonderful family.

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