An advisory committee recommended on Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration revoke approval of the drug Avastin as a treatment for breast cancer, saying the drug was not helping patients. (Click for full article)
Avastin was one of my Mama’s main chemo drugs. Well, that’s just fucking fabulous. I read this article & could feel my throat closing up & my stomach clenching… that familiar gagging feeling that accompanies all things breast cancer-related. I feel angry. Angry for all the useless appointments. Angry that my mother had an ineffectual poison pumped into her body. Angry that despite all the pink ribbon & “hope” shit spewing out of every nook & cranny, & all the millions of dollars donated for that elusive cure, they still DON’T HAVE A FUCKING CLUE. Not one goddamn fucking clue.
I know it’s pointless, but I have to say it aloud. What if. What if she had had a different drug? What if the breast cancer experts weren’t pushing Avastin as the new wonder drug? What if Avastin had actually DONE what it was supposed to be doing? Would she still be here? Would I have a real, live, laughing, smiling mother instead of broken pieces of memories that I’m slowly gluing back together? Would I be able to hold down speed dial #4 & hear her voice on the other end saying “Hey, Queenie”?
Rational Sarah tells me no, that the end result of our particular story was inevitable regardless of the effectiveness of the chemotherapies. That the cancer was too far gone, had metastasized too widely, had taken too strong a hold. But Sarah the Motherless Daughter wants it to be someone else’s fault. Sarah the Motherless Daughter remembers all too well how strongly I pushed for Avastin. Mama stayed with Avastin because of me. I pushed it with the oncologist. It was touted as the breast cancer wonder drug, & I held onto that with all my might. I told Mama that we should ignore the prognosis of 12-18 months because it was based on statistics published before the intro of Avastin. Hell, I even wrote a post in Dec 2006 about how OBVIOUSLY Avastin had changed the landscape of metastatic breast cancer.
So much false hope. I put my faith in science & medicine & doctors. & now here I sit, crying over yet another “I miss my mama” blog post.
Oh, & just for fun, here’s the cherry on top of this shit sundae. The FDA is expected to announce their formal decision on September 17th. September 17th, the anniversary of my mother’s death. The day that my mother died in a horrific & nightmarish way. Impeccable timing, FDA. That’s good times right there.