Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Day +97: Anybody for Antibodies?

There are other places we would rather be than back in the hospital, but it’s where we need to be right now and we’re pretty well adjusted to the routine. After so many similar visits there is a rather sad sense of normalcy about the place. We checked in on Monday afternoon and Keith spent a pretty relaxed evening in his room after the usual lab-work and discussion with Dr. Clare Twist about what to expect in the following days. Behind the scenes though I had the distinct sensation that the medical staff were running around furiously in an effort to prepare all of the necessary things that need preparing before the first infusion – double checking everything and making sure all of the nursing staff who would be treating Keith were up to speed on the protocol. There’s an element of “uncharted waters” to this trial as there is with most trials I suppose, but it sort of felt to me like being at the Johnson Space Center on the eve of the first moon shot – a lot of really smart and confident people working on a very delicate problem with no room for error.

To make a long story short, Keith finished his first day of three scheduled days of monoclonal antibody therapy and there is a lot less anxiety in the air now that he successfully tolerated his first infusion and didn’t suffer any major side effects other than a mild fever and a period of very low blood pressure – all of which were controllable. While he was (and is) hooked up to an IV pain med pump that he can activate with the push of a button, he didn’t have to use it at all suggesting that the anticipated pain side effect didn’t really materialize as it apparently does for a lot of the patients. That’s a huge relief – he was pretty comfortable throughout the day even though he was knocked into ‘nap mode’ a couple of times from the meds. While awake, he managed to completely immerse himself into one of his GameBoy games, resulting in a strenuous thumb work-out that probably would have even impressed Chuck Norris.

The doctors were very pleased with the outcome of the day’s events, even commenting that we were in for a boring night.

Hmmm. I’ll take boring.


Linda Bemis said...

Dear Keith,

Glad to hear that things went well yesterday with that first infusion. Hope you continue to have only good results.

We are off to Charlevoix and the Belvedere tomorrow morning so my next post will be from there. I will look forward to Grandpa Don and Annie's return from Orinda so we can get a first hand report.

God Bless You All,
Linda B

Annie said...

Our bags are (almost) packed and we're ready to go------! Can hardly wait to see you! We arrive in SF on Friday, the 15th @ 2:12PM. (NWA, flight #345)
We are counting the minutes.

Hope today went well for you, Keith. Stay strong and we'll be there soon to give you hugs.

Annie and Grandpa Don

Anonymous said...

Dear Keith: Like Linda, I am off to northern Michigan tomorrow morning (Walloon) and will be in touch from there. I am having lunch with Annie after she gets back, so I'll get a first hand report...though you are doing so well that all of the world's super heroes are taking the summer off and leaving the universe in your capable hands. Believe it or not, it is 50 degrees, windy and raining in New Hampshire. I am told that it will be 86 degrees, sunny, and humid at Walloon. Could I be looking at culture shock? Global warming? Stay strong. Love, Barbara Hunting

Allison N. said...

Hello Keith!!
Glad to hear you sailed through Day One back at Stanford. It sounds like you are getting the royal treatment. The Keithanator deserves no less! And, you even managed to get in a bit of a workout - even thumbs need exercise now and then.
Hang in there for just a bit longer and you'll be back at the Kirbyville hideout.
And, I hope predictions of a "boring" night mean that you are enjoying a good night's sleep - no vampire nurses waking you up in the middle of the night and such.
Love from, Allison