The logo of the Canadian Cancer Society is a daffodil, so it's no surprise to see daffodils growing in big bunches outside the B.C. Cancer Agency building, where I went today for my first dose of bevacizumab. Like the insulin I take for my diabetes, bevacizumab is genetically engineered, but instead of being a hormone it is an artificial antibody that interferes with the growth of new blood vessels feeding my rectal tumour.
The treatment was unspectacular. After walking around nervously in the spring sunshine for the better part of an hour, I entered the building and took the elevator to the sixth floor, checking in slightly early for my 2:45 p.m. appointment. Blood pressure taken, I sat in a chair while Leeanne the nurse inserted an intravenous needle in the back of my left hand and set up the pump for the drug to go into my bloodstream.
Then I sat for an hour and a half while the bevacizumab dripped slowly through the pump and into my arm. I listened to my iPod, chatted with Leeanne and a couple of other patients who came in after me, and then said hi to my wife when she came down to meet me. By 4:30 it was all done and she drove me home.
I'm tired now, but feel no other effects, and may not. Meanwhile, my CT scan last Friday showed that my cancer has grown since January, so that it is now pushing against one of my ureters, although I feel nothing from that. There is also a bit of concern that there may (or may not) be something in my lung. Shit.
But this drug and the others I'll start taking on April 12 should hammer any and all of those rather well. The radiation will do more against my rectal tumour. Then comes the surgery. Whack whack whack. So far so good.