Yesterday’s Spa visit was interesting but nothing too worrisome. Maggie’s port-o-cath is acting up and Dr. Loukas has planned to reduce Maggie’s dosage of Avastin “until something happens.”
Back when all this started, during her colon resection surgery the surgeon installed a device called a port-o-cath under Maggie’s left shoulder. The device is used for direct access to her vena ceva, the big juicy veil coming straight out of the heart. The nurses at The Spa poke there to pull blood out and stick nasty stuff in instead of stabbing her in the arm every time. It’s definitely preferable although Maggie feigns a degree of nonchalance when they asked the difference. I guess both ways suck, really. The port-o-cath sucks less. If it works, that is….
Yesterday, it didn’t work. They poked. She didn’t bleed. They contorted her body into all sort of yoga-like positions trying to convince the embedded machinery to kick back to life. Finally, after a variety of well-trained hands pumped on the little plunger while watching for that crimson “All Ok” signal in the tube, they administered a medication new to us called GetUmWorkin*. GetUmWorkin apparently dissolves the fibrous tissue that eventually builds up over foreign objects in the body, foreign objects like, say, a device inserted in your chest over a year and a half ago. After about thirty minutes of baking in the fluid, the blood was flowing again. About two hours later we left the Spa, her filled with more fluids than when she came in.
* “GetUmWorkin” is Latin for “make the blood flow” but it’s not really the name of the stuff they used. I just can’t remember what it was called.
Our meeting with Dr. Loukas was good. We reported on the new weirdness: after the last Spa visit Maggie experienced blurry vision and a very strong headache. (Again with the complaining, that girl.) After a quick three hour nap she felt better but it occurred the next two days, too, so that was worrisome. After hearing about this Dr. Loukas furled his brow a little more than usual and said “don’t get a headache again after this treatment otherwise we may have to stop giving you Avastin.” Check. And we didn’t. Big sigh.
He said that he’s ready to move to the every-three-week Avastin plan now, if Maggie is ready. She said, surprisingly timidly, yes. His plan is to slowly extend the time between the Avastin doses until, well, we just don’t come in anymore. And then we wait until something happens. I, of course being the eternal optimist, said, “How do we know when ‘something happens’?” He said we will continue to do scans every three or so months. And just like that, he scheduled us a CT and PET scan for later this month.
People keep asking “How’s Maggie?” And I keep saying “She’s great!” How else would I describe this magic “extra” time we’ve been given? Silly doctors. What did they know back in January 06 anyway. I told them then not to underestimate Maggie. Now we are living the I Told You So! life.