I had my first treatment of Avastin yesterday at the Maine Center for Cancer Medicine in Scarborough.
Avastin (generically known as bevacizumab) is supposed to limit the growth of tumors by choking their blood supply. My oncologist claims I’m a good candidate for Avastin because my tumor was “highly vascular”. (It was so impressively vascular that it became a subject of the oncologists’ weekly case review).
Unlike Temodar, which I take in pill form, Avastin must be administered intravenously, every two weeks.
The treatment room at MCCM has more than a dozen cubicles, each with a vinyl recliner, a small table and an IV pump. I felt uneasy as I waited for the nurse. My last IV treatment (probably morphine) was at Maine Medical Center in early May, shortly after my craniotomy.
My Avastin dose was specified in detail on a sheet of paper on the table:
Bevacizumab 610 mg (at 10mg/kg) Intravenous
Avastin 10 q2wks – Cycle – 1, Day – 1
I asked myself “how many times will I have to come back and sit and watch a bag of liquid drain into my arm?” My oncologist’s answer to a similar question about Temodar was “indefinitely”. He also said “No one can tell you how long you have to live”, citing “5 or 10 years” as a particularly fortunate outcome.
Waiting for the needle was the hardest part, of course. Once it was in, I relaxed. Already the wound is almost gone.