PARP Inhibitor

So, tomorrow I will begin the PARP inhibitor, rucaparib, as these kinds of drugs been shown to be really effective for someone in my case: platinum-sensitive and HRD positive. My insurance required that the prescription be filled through CVS Specialty Pharmacy, so it took awhile for it to be available, and Grant and I discussed it and decided to give me just a little more time to get my various counts closer to normal. And besides which, I would be seeing Dr. West today, which I did.

First of all, my blood work from two weeks ago was dramatically improved upon by my blood work from one week ago, so that is encouraging. Dr. West is happy with the CT scan results, and is glad I did six rounds because three or four wouldn’t have been enough to get the results we did. And we are ready to reevaluate and act accordingly to support my body through the effects of the PARP inhibitor, as it will likely continue to negatively impact blood cell counts, and keep me anemic.

After the appointment Grant and I drove to the mountains for him to ski and me to snowshoe, for the exercise. However Dr. West warned me to take it easy because of the anemia. I just don’t have enough oxygen-carrying red blood cells at the moment to place huge demands on them such as snowshoeing uphill at elevation 9000 ft / 2700 m. Being up here, I concur. Even carrying the computer and walking into the library at this elevation caused me breathlessness. I guess I’ll reserve my exercising for lower elevations at this point.

Dr. West noted certain levels of various things were not quite where she wants them, and suggested tweaks to the diet and / or supplement regimens. But overall she seemed quite pleased with how I’ve come through treatment.

An interesting thing she mentioned is that, upon talking about the high blood pressure I’ve been experiencing due to Avastin, is that the class of drugs that are beta-blockers, which are often prescribed for high blood pressure, have also been shown to be effective in ovarian cancer because somehow or other there are receptors on ovarian cancer cells for these “betas,” whatever they are. Okay, after reading more about it, what they are blocking is adrenaline and the fight or flight mechanisms. Makes sense. Dr. West has suggested to check with my PCP about changing from the one I’m on (metoprolol) to another which has been shown effective in ovarian cancer, so I’ll do that on Monday when I see her. In any case, Dr. West and Grant and I discussed the continued need for me to remain unstressed. Calm. Chill. I like having a very good excuse why I should not be behaving like a typical highly-stressed American. We should all calm down / chill out. It would be better for all of us. Fight or Flight is not good for us.

I received a phone call on the way up here from the pharmacist who works with my gyn-onc to do a one-week follow-up on the PARP inhibitor, but I had to tell her I haven’t even started it yet. So she’ll follow up in a week, and my gyn-onc also wants me to have weekly blood tests for the first month or so to make sure that I’m responding okay to it. I’ll have another appointment with the gyn-onc at the end of February.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print at this moment. It’s almost time for me to gather Grant from the ski area.

C-fulness to you!

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