Thursday, 24 March 2016

The alien returns

Cancer has no respect.  She cares not at all about plans or dreams. She barges in whenever she pleases and takes pleasure in doing so with only the minimum of warning.  

She has made her presence known once more...

This patient knows her body well.  The unwelcome warning signs were recognised and acted upon.  Fast.  There is an action plan.  Boom.

Cancer doesn't like a plan.  Cancer is disorganised and chaotic.  This patient has resources aplenty.  Cancer is to be pushed to the max, and hopefully zapped into the middle distance.  

Thursday, 17 March 2016

The unwelcome visitor

Cancer doesn't play by the rules.  She plays dirty.  She defies those things that feel to make sense.  She arrives as if from nowhere and demands to be seen.  She can only be taken seriously.  She shouts loudly drowning out any protestations and sets the agenda.  She refuses to negotiate and drives the hardest bargain.

And so a new phase is entered.  Not a door anyone would wish to open, but one through which countless souls have travelled before us.  Across the threshold friendly faces, armed with expert knowledge await.  Paclitaxel administered weekly is the weaponry with which this battle will be fought.  

Also known by its brand name Taxol, paclitaxel is a potent cancer-fighting drug originally derived from the bark of the Pacific yew tree (Taxus brevifolia nutt), a small to medium-sized tree that occupies Pacific coastal forests from southwestern Alaska to California.  

Development of Paclitaxel started in 1962.  It was soon found to arrest the growth of cancer cells by attaching to their micro tubules, thus preventing cell division.  By the late 1980s Taxol had become the drug of choice, despite its high cost, for the treatment of a wide range of cancers, especially ovarian and breast cancer.