Saturday, April 3, 2010

UW Clinical Trial

A quick update on the week's previous post: the grant was submitted on Thursday, on time. And, I felt relatively normal on Friday - not that bone tired, eye droopy fatigued.

I'm on my way north - we head to my Aunt Judy's tonight for dinner and then afterwards, Eddie and I will stay with an old high school buddy of mine, S. I worked for S's dad for almost three years (my next longest job, after my current job). We talked on the phone for 90 minutes - like the intervening 25 or 26 years hadn't happened! Wow.

But, if truth be told, I'm a little anxious, too. I reread the protocol and treatment plan for this clinical trial last night. One question was: What is the safe upper amount for t-cell infusions? So, they will grow millions of my t-cells (either the same as or similar to white blood cells) after they have been "primed" by the vaccine and give them back to me. In theory, since they are your own cells and they are geared specifically to attach the type of cancer cell I'm getting, I shouldn't have many side effects - in fact, none are listed. But does that mean they don't know (as that is one of the study questions) or that they are pretty sure nothing will happen (about 60 patients have had similar procedures done to them at this reseach group), but need to "prove" it on real patients? Also, they grow millions of my own cells using blood products from donated blood - so there's a very slight chance that I could get a virus or bacterial infection.

Although I was tired last night, I could get to sleep. But I kept telling myself to live in the moment, don't look too far ahead, just enjoy the day and the trip up north to Seattle. And, I reminded myself that I learned about this opportunity from my doctor in January - and he had just heard about it the week or two before, so he knew the contact person, I happened to fit the criteria and he felt that I would be a "perfect" patient for this since I was relatively healthy, and then things kinda fell into place - the travel dates, my taking leave from work, and the travel funds. So, it's meant to be. That "unmistakable touch of grace" that Cheryl Richardson talked about in her book: which is this idea that opportunities are placed in your path all the time, the trick is to learn how to recognize them and go for it because it will take you to good place you never would have considered before.

I fell asleep shortly thereafter. Okay, got to pack the car! ...

S, see ya soon! : )


Liz Kreger said...

I would think they’d be very careful about what donated blood they use in a study such as this, Dee.

This also sounds like a trial I might be interested in and should ask my doctor. Could you gather some literature and send it to me? Personally, from what I’ve read on your posts, this sounds extremely promising and I’m excited that you’re participating, Dee. It could quite a breakthrough in cancer treatment.

Liz Kreger said...

Incidently ... fingers are crossed and sending tons of optimism your way.