Yesterday I began my new regimen of chemotherapy: Avastin (Bevacizumab)+ Abraxane(Paclitaxel). Unfortunately, I did not qualify for the clinical trial, which also involves this same combination of drugs. My doctor explained that the criteria for the trial includes the EGFR Mutation (which I have) and treatment with Tarceva or Gilotrif, but not both. The fact that I have taken both of these medications (even though the Gilotrif did not work) excludes me from the study. However, he has great hopes that this combination of chemo drugs will be effective.
His only reservations concern my anemia. For several years my blood counts have been borderline. He actually did several additional blood tests yesterday in an effort to narrow down my anemia even further and to determine if there is some medication I can take to maintain higher red blood cell counts.
Side effects of both of these medications include weakness and fatigue, hair loss, nausea, joint pain, and low blood counts (which may lead to increased danger of infection), and others.
The protocol for this treatment involves chemotherapy once per week for three weeks, then a week off, and then this plan is repeated for a total of six (6) cycles. There will be a CT Scan after three (3) cycles. I should be able to complete the three cycles and have the CT Scan prior to leaving Florida for Rhode Island. Then I can complete the treatment back home.
We shall see what this new regimen will mean for me.