Pincushion Man Rides Again

  Today Lee and I had a visit with Dr. M at the University of Arizona Cancer Center and he was quite excited that I am such a boring patient. I had no side effects to share with him, oh how boring of me!  My blood work is boring, I have no rashes, no bulging or swelling, even my cough has diminished a bit. Just totally boring. My only problem is self-inflicted back pain from exercising, which is on the mend.

But I’ll have another opportunity to generate excitement beginning tomorrow. Week II of “Hell Week” begins tomorrow with my second round of Enad, the oncolytic “cancer killing” virus. Actually this round will be a hell week two-two. No, I won’t be wearing a ballerina outfit, but they are spreading out the infusions over more days. So instead of three infusions over five days, with only one day in between to recover, I will have two days between the infusions. All the infusions are essentially 12-hour days, so this new schedule should allow Lee and I to recover a bit between infusions. To fill out the balance of the second week, the Cancer Center is throwing in an all day Opdivio immunotherapy drug infusion and then a lung biopsy the following day. The lung biopsy will reveal how well the Enad virus penetrated the tumors. The following week I will have a CT scan. It will be a busy and uncomfortable couple of weeks, but by mid-May we should have a pretty clear idea how this little experiment is working.

The balance of the clinical trial settles down after this to a single infusion of Opdivo every three weeks, with a few office visits, CT scans and blood draws thrown in for chuckles. Lee and I are looking forward to the extra free time. It seems that the last five months have been nothing but procedures, treatments, tests, scans and consultations. 

Speaking of fun, I went to a reunion on Saturday. Well, actually the reunion came to me when several Mitusbishi alumni gathered in Green Valley. It was great to share memories, laughter, good food and wine.  

Live life to its fullest!

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19 thoughts on “Pincushion Man Rides Again

  1. I would NEVER have described you as “boring,” but after reading this, I’m happy to hear how boring you really are! Sorry about the rough few weeks coming up. There’s really not an upside here – except living! Definitely an upside. I travel so much for work these days, but all of it outside the US. Nonetheless, would love to see you soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great news. Boring is Beautiful. Never thought I would say that but I get it. That will need to be your mantra as you progress thru these next few weeks. Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. you have your work cut out for you for the next couple of weeks. hope it goes as smoothly as possible. eager for the test results but that probably won’t be until late may. do you suppose you’ll ever hear anything about how the other nine people doing this same regimen are faring? probably not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So far there are only two of us in AZ, I think a third will be joining soon. The first patient developed a severe dashboard was hospitalized after the virus infusion, but he is OK and still on the trial.

      We belong to a “secret” by invitation only group on Facebook called ColonTown. I am friends with a patient on the same trial in Indiana.She had a 20% reduction in tumor size on her first scan about three weeks ago and her CEA dropped drastically. However she developed a cough after her second infusion of Opdivo, so they had her skip a cycle. A common side effect of Opdivo Is cough and lung issues. She said another patient was taken off the program because of lung problems. They may be more sensitive to that issue at that trial site

      I Already had a cough at the start, and it is actually better after the first does of Opdivo.

      Like

  4. Jim…So great to see Max, Dave and Mike with you in GV. You’re loved and respected by so many people. Encouragement and prayers from soggy Portland as you continue on the trial. Keep at it Mr. A!

    Mark and Ellen

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  5. Very happy to see the reunion picture. Everyone looks great. Very glad that you are on this trial and it sounds like the patient here in Indiana is making progress. How long does this trial last? I look forward to these messages and look forward to positive news once you get the results from these treatments! Best to you sir!

    Liked by 1 person

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