The Wheel of Fortune Keeps Turning

18 Jul

I don’t know whether I should even be writing this particular posting – so obviously it’s a challenge to know how. Just when I ask myself whether there’s anything else to add to my blog, the big Wheel of Fortune starts moving. The only problem is to know in which direction it’s going.

I was circumspect enough in May, when I posted a “Thank You” to Tel Hashomer, to question whether I’d be back there.  The Parp Inhibitor, under the auspices of Memorial Sloan Kettering, was supposedly coming to Israel, but we didn’t know who would administer it. The oncologist responsible at Tel Hashomer was leaving for a fellowship in the States and I chose to follow my oncologist, who was Head of Department, on his move to Ichilov. Yesterday we were invited to Tel Hashomer to get an update on the Parps.

As fate would have it, administrative details stymied the fellowship and the  oncologist didn’t leave. She’s now progressing on the Parps. Her enthusiasm is palpable. She has that great quality of letting me truly believe that importing the Parps is personally for me. But nothing is certain. Not the timetable, not the ability to receive them and certainly not their guarantee of success. But their trial results have been outstanding – and no-one can take hope away. It’s just keeping everything in some proportion. Will they arrive in time?

In reviewing my case, she comes to the conclusion to move on to Mitomycin C. This protocol has been suggested both by Dr Wolf and by my brother-in-law. Dr Bill Isacoff has always supported the idea. Mitomycin C[1], manufactured by Sigma-Aldrich in the USA, contains three anticancer moieties; quinone, urethane, and aziridine groups.  It inhibits DNA synthesis. It is the most widely used of the Mitomycin antibiotics because it is the least toxic – yet shows a potent anti-tumor activity. It reacts covalently with DNA, in vivo and in vitro, inhibiting DNA replication.

Mitomycin is administered once a month. Either with a hospital-administered weekly push from a 5-FU infusion or a simple swallowing of a capsule called Xeloda – taken five-days on, two-days off .  Xeloda[2] is manufactured by Genentech, of the Roche Group, and is used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).  It is supposedly no worse than the side-effects of 5-FU. So with the Parps “on the way”, I see this as the sign to move back to Tel Hashomer.

How life goes round. I’m agonizing about whether to move back/on again. Then there’s the terrible timetable of waiting for the Parps – knowing all to well that life has a habit of coming up with nasty surprises. Anything can happen. Minutes before we left for Tel Hashomer yesterday, I learned that a former work colleague, all of 70-years young, had been knocked off his bicycle and killed on the spot.

Who am I to complain?


One Response to “The Wheel of Fortune Keeps Turning”

  1. Angie & Albert at 6:00 pm #

    Life is indeed a roller coaster – just keep rolling Mart!

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