Friday, September 5, 2008

Change Of Drugs

Just got home from chemo. Instead of Avastin + Ixempra, as planned, I just had Ixempra. My doctor thought I should just start with one of the new drugs first and wait to see how I react before we add on the other.

I'll go back tomorrow morning for a G-CSF (granulocyte-colony stimulating factor) shot, which stimulates the bone marrow to produce more white blood cells. One of the side-effects of Ixempra is a decrease in white blood cells or the immune system, which makes the patient very vulnerable to infections.

I'll have to be careful to stay away from crowds and sick people.


Mimi Edmonds said...

Hi Shin,

I am so thrilled to have stumbled upon your blog. Your spirit and positive attitude is inspiring and I would love to get you in touch with my mom-in-law, Agnes Edmonds/Liew Yuke Foong who just went through one round of Ixempra and will be onto the second one on Sept 10th. She has triple negative Stage IV breast cancer that has metastasized to her brain, liver, lung,bones, bone marrow. She also underwent 14 brain radiations prior to starting Ixempra. Can you let me know how she can get in touch with you? She is being treated at Gleneagles and I told her about you. Her oncologist is Dr. Khoo Kei Siong whom she absolutely loves. She would love to be able to connect. Do let me know. And I know you have questions about god...but I just wanted to say that my husband, Ian and I, and our 14 month old Mia will pray for you and your family. Ian and I live in the States are far from our mom-in-law but we try to visit her with Mia whenever we can. As a matter of fact, Ian is back home visiting his mom right now. It was quality mom and son time that they both needed. She is currently back in KL but will be heading to Singapore tomorrow to get tests done and then will start on her next round of chemo if all checks out. She had a real tough time through the first round - toughest round we've seen her go through. Appetite has been poor too and she has had to have several blood transfusions. That said, I just spoke to her today and she is doing alot better and geared up for round 2. She is our tough cookie and we love her so. And of course she has the best husband by her side as you have Tony. Isn't having a family wonderful? Anyway, I hope to hear back from you Shin. Stay strong and stay happy as you are. Our thoughts are with you, Tony and your kids. Mimi Edmonds

Shin said...


Great to hear from you. I'd love for your mom to get in touch with me, and you as well. You can e-mail me at Sounds like we have a lot to chat about! I look forward to hearing from you.

Peter said...

I reiterate a previous comment that you look good bald. Hot actually.

Want you to know we are working on things - but not sure that all cancers will be cured so quickly.

On "targeted" therapies: drugs are infused throughout the body (systemically) and then preverentially latch on to the surface receptors of cells believed to be more common on the cancer target cells.

At work we are working on local delivery of targeted cells. This includes advancing a catheter to the site of the target tissue (ie ovaries) and delivering the drugs there. One can deliver a much higher concentration at the site and have a more beneficial therapeutic effect while the drug redistribution to the rest of the body results in a very low systemic concentration. In this way the "therapeutic window" - difference between the drugs therapeutic dosage and toxic dosage (typically at a site remote from the tumor) is maximized. One can use local strategies with targeted strategies. We are also very interested in delivering metastatic cell drone dosage forms. Here a cell sized drug delivery microsphere (basically a ball of soft leaky plastic containing drug that is the same size as the cells) is delivered to the region of a tumor - often upon initial identification of the tumor - before surgical excision masectomy etc. These drones then migrate away from the site of the tumor and down the same pathways that the metastatic cells they are designed to simulate travel. In this way high concentrations of therapeutics - cytostatic or angiostatic etc -can be delivered into the lyphatic system and lymph nodes that the metastatic cells will travel down.

I share all this even though it will not work for you. These therapies all depend on finding the tumors early locally in a target tissue and then treating it where it lies while shutting down the routes of egress.

Forgive me if this does not make sense. My new wife is nagging me that I have to go for a run to maintain my own health and well being. She also knows this prevents me from being a crab later today.

Much love to you. Hope you get on avastin and a cytostatic RX at the same time.

Shin said...


How did you get to be so smart? I guess you didn't skip as many classes as I did in college!

Thanks for sharing all that info. I think it gives me and others hope that there will be a cure for cancer soon.

As you said, it might not have any material effect in my case, but just knowing that there is hope out there for others is reassuring to me.