Clinical Trial Day #8

We arrived at Hopkins by about 8:30 this morning for a 9AM appointment with Ellen, the clinical trial nurse.  When 10:00 had come and gone, I started to nudge Dave to call or email her in case she had forgotten that he had an appointment this morning.  In our other dealings with Ellen, we have noticed that she can be a bit scatterbrained.  Dave was convinced that she was probably just running behind schedule and told me that I was stressing him out.  One of our friends from the retreat arrived shortly after that so we passed the time listening to his very entertaining stories.  He is just a great person – so optimistic in his tenth year of dealing with colon cancer.  At about 10:30, Ellen wandered through the waiting room and I kid you not, looked absolutely surprised to see us.  She asked me if we were waiting to meet with her.  (sigh)  To her credit, she is a caring and personable nurse but seems to be completely lacking in any kind of organization.  She needed to consult with another patient but returned about twenty minutes or so later and took us up to the chemo suite and met with us there.

Dave’s lab results look great overall.  His blood counts are within the normal range.  His liver function results were high but that is not unexpected with the disease, surgeries and Sirspheres treatment he has had.  She explained that they are seeing side effects from the SGI (trial drug) starting around day 10.  She also warned that so far, all the other patients have experienced delays in the administration of the day 15 Irinotecan due to blood counts being too low.  So, we will see what happens.  He is already feeling a little stomach distress and nausea so headed to bed pretty early tonight.  I am thankful that he was able to have the infusion today.

Just so you don’t think it’s all heavy, deep and real around here, I just wanted to mention that we have had a really relaxing winter break so far.  We are lucky enough to have a full two weeks off of school because Christmas and New Year’s Day fell on Wednesdays this year.  The first few days were busy with the shopping, wrapping, more shopping, and the more wrapping that precedes Christmas.  We celebrated early with Dave’s sister and her family.  It is always nice to get the 7 cousins together, and Kris and Franck made the yummiest lasagna I’ve ever tasted.  The kids slept in Christmas morning so we opened presents leisurely and enjoyed the slower pace that comes with having kids that are getting older.  As much as they enjoyed being on the receiving end of things, they also enjoyed giving gifts this year too.  Parker’s were handmade, many on the rainbow loom.  Grant and Samantha hit the mall and found treasures at the “As Seen on TV” store as well as some other shops.  In the afternoon, we headed over to my parents to exchange more gifts and enjoy some of Grammy’s yummy cooking.  The day felt just right all around.

Dave and I went to see the movie, Her.  It is so thought provoking and beautifully filmed.  I believe that Spike Jonze is a genius.  Definitely put it on your list of movies to see.  The kids have had friends over.  In fact, Grant’s friend, Sean, is with us until Thursday.  I’ve checked things off my to-do list like cleaning out the car, undecorating from Christmas, helping Parker sort out her room.  I even went into work to feed the snake and got my desk there organized.  I’ve spent time catching up with friends which has been nourishment for my soul.  We are also planning on getting away for a few days before school starts back up on Monday.  Originally, we thought NYC would be fun, but after seeing the FRIGID temperatures in the forecast, we are rethinking that idea!

I hope that 2014 brings you ALL that you need and at least some of what you want!  Happy New Year!



PS In no particular order, here are some of my favorite Christmas gifts this year.Image



2 thoughts on “Clinical Trial Day #8

  1. I swear for a second there I thought “feed the snake” was a euphemism. And then I couldn’t quite put my finger on *what* it would be a euphemism for – but “working for free” or “going in on a day off” or something equally as vile came to mind. Then I pictured you holding a little mouse over a tank with a snake it in and can’t imagine anyone else doing that on their day off. 🙂

    • friend, i love you! you crack me up. we have got to get together in person soon! if it makes you feel better, i feed the snake frozen mice so it really just involves me thawing one from the freezer and gently laying it in his tank for consumption. : )

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