Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Is this the Twighlight Zone?

Nick survived the long morning on Monday. It took awhile getting his chemo going, waiting for his labs to return - all levels good (except his pulse is high again at 103). A 2 hour visit turned into a 4 hour visit, but that's ok. Off to grab a bite at his favorite place for some delicious clam chowder; did I mention he gained 3 more pounds? While we were eating, we got a call from a doctor in New York (Sloan Kettering) who is leading up the phase one clinical trial, Intraperitoneal Radioimmunotherapy. The treatment involves an antibody or protein that binds with certain tumor cells, similar to rhabdo cells. Radioactive iodine is bound in the antibody, subsequently killing the tumor cells when injected into the lining of the abdomen. The doctor was asking for Nick's consent to test a portion of Nick's frozen tumor tissue sample to see if the antibody will work. Well, sure! Our hearts skip a beat, a smile breaks out and hope is off and running. Targeted therapy is showing up everywhere, with the best part being that only cancer cells are killed, not the healthy ones. Off we race home to fax the consent forms back asap!

Then we read the fine print. Phase one trials aren't very fun - not much of a step from experimenting on mice to experimenting on humans. So experimental, in fact, that only 24 participants are being accepted into this trial. Apparently what they are trying to determine is just how much radioactivity is safe for treatment. Nick and I both have visions of him glowing in the dark, with the doctor saying, "Whoops, my bad. Let's dial that back a bit." We have many questions, including how long it will take to test the tissue, if the treatment will be in New York, etc.

The cool thing is that Nick is totally open to it, saying that he is willing to keep looking for that ever evasive curative treatment, knowing that he could be the one it works for. Although optimistic, as a mom, I'd rather they practice on someone else first. But Hope, ever present and ever strong, remains thriving in our hearts.

And the learning continues...

Nick is feeling fairly well today, but having stomach cramps off and on. His trip to Moab and Arizona is set for next week, and that is the best treatment he could have! The cowboy life with horses, fresh air and great friends is extremely healing.

Thanks to all for checking in and for the prayers -



Anonymous said...

Well, sounds like you have a lot of questions to get answered on the clinical trial. One step at a time eh! So glad you're off to Moab and Arizona.... Lots of mental and physical healing - yeh!
Hope your cramping subsides as soon as you come off this round of chemo. March madness approaching - maybe another trip to Arizona to watch some games and Spring training games?? So cowboy, get to feeling good and have some fun. Love & light constantly surrounding you. GM Jennie xx

Chris Ulvin said...

Hi mom and son,
I know you will make the right decision as your motive is love for each other and for all cancer patients. God's motive is also love. I pray He blesses all your plans and opportunities. Amen
Love, aunt Chris