Thursday, November 10, 2011


I saw Motzer and the team today.  (Busy day in Motzerville; waiting room packed with patients.)  Compared to a week ago, I am feeling much better, with the pneumonia pretty much gone and the remnants of the belly bleed much less.  So everyone was cheerful and upbeat.

I learned a few things that Motzer may have told me last week, but I simply didn't take in; I wasn't functioning well. I am officially off the study combining Avastin and Everolimus. Even though I have now recovered from most of the side effects, they were simply too many to ignore. So today I started a new regimen:  weekly infusions of Torisel (Temsirolimus).  Like Everolimus, this is a kinase inhibitor.  Allergic reactions are sufficiently common that the infusion starts with Benedryl, followed by the Torisel; the whole process takes about an hour. Fortunately I had no adverse reactions. In mid-December I will have more CT scans, without contrast, due to my allergic reaction.

Is this good news or bad?  The October scans showed that the combined therapy  was showing some efficacy (shrinking the tumors), and effective treatments for late-stage renal cell carcinomas are rare. But if the treatment made me so sick that I could not function, it is not worth it and cannot continue, or so is the conclusion of the MSKCC team.  This makes sense for now.  Treatment is clearly a process of trial and error, each patient different. The good thing about being at MSKCC is that they have seen so much and have many options.

My sister Diana and I are flying to California tomorrow for a quick visit with her daughter, Allison, and her family. Allison is an oncologist, so I should be in good hands all around.  Three-year-old Sean should keep us entertained. Back to NYC on Monday.


Frances Preston said...

Have a wonderful visit Sally, hugs all around...

Allison Kurian said...

We can't wait to see you - so excited that you are coming to visit!