Just Another Chemo Monday


Last Friday I got the results of my latest PET scan—CLEAN! No sign of cancer. It’s my second clear scan in a row, which ties my personal best.

I Look Like a Catholic Cardnial
I Look Like a Catholic Cardnial

Still, I’m back in the Memorial Outpatient Oncology Clinic today for the first of four rounds of Rituxan chemo. It’s part of a two-year maintenance program.

Getting Armed - It's Dangerous
Getting Armed - It's Dangerous

It’s also my fifteenth bout with chemo in the last 30 months. I have returned to my old corner office by the window, working on my laptop and trying not to be too agitated.

Rituximab up close - Clear and Deadly
Rituximab up close - Clear and Deadly

The star of this show is Rituxan, aka Rituximab, a special class of drug known as a monoclonal antibody—one of the fabled “magic bullet” in the field of medicine.

Rituximab by the Bag
Rituximab by the Bag Is NOT Cheap

Monoclonal antibodies when administered i the body seek out and bind to cells in the body that have a specific protein (sometimes called a cluster of differentiation, or CD) It is thought that this binding activates the body’s own defense mechanisms to attack these cells, and that the binding may also cause the cells to self-destruct. Targeting the attack on the cancer in this way reduces many of the side effects of broad-based chemotherapy treatments, which tend to damage more healthy tissues.

This focused chemo certainly isn’t as hard on the body but it does have its drawbacks. I’ll mention these in my post from the clinic next Monday.

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3 thoughts on “Just Another Chemo Monday

  1. This is from Deb, Mike’s wife. My Mike is now free from his lymphoma having passed from this life on 12/25/2010 at 12:25 a.m. We were able on the 15th of December to return to Colorado, and he delighted in the care and bosom of our family for the last 10 days. What a courageous soul he was, and never a single “why me”! We miss him greatly, but are so happy he is at last free. Only one year ago he was recovering from his stem cell transplant. I know he’d want me to let you know. We followed your transplant story here, just ahead of his. Praise God for your clean scan. Deb

    1. I have no words, Deb. My deepest sympathy . . . and my deepest appreciation that you took the time to let me know. There are no answers to “why” questions on this side of the grave. I trust Mike has some now.

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