Posts Tagged ‘infusion’

Clinical Trials:  I am in.
July 25, 2014

II am number 5.  That number looks like the number of an elite marathoner, but it is not.  It just means I am the 5th participant to this new anti-cancer drug.  Yes, I am in … for real.  I count myself among the select few to undergo this human trial, and I start Monday, July 28 at the University of Chicago Medicine.

The objective is to determine the safe and effective level for this new Phase 1 anti-cancer drug that address the RNA part of cell molecular structure. Don’t ask me explain, it is complicated.  All know is, it was first tested in mice and monkeys with positive results and now they are trying it on humans.  Guess what: I am the 5th “sucker.”  Ha!  I love it.

This trial is different from the one that was offered to me in April (see A Different World: Part 1 and Part 2), wherein I did not even get to start because of my platelet problems.  However, from what I am told this new trial is a better fit for my profile and that they are getting positive responses from the other trial participants.  That’s good to know.  Frankly, my options are not exactly a lot: either I do trial for a chance of another tomorrow or just give up.  I have tried all the other traditional chemo regiments and I am now immune to them.  I am willing to participate in this trial just to conquer my cancer.

Last Wednesday, I did all the pre-trial test such as: blood test, EKG, PET scan and CT scan.  With my platelet up (thanks to MD Anderson) and other blood work looking good, they allowed me to start Monday.  My start date would have been end of August, but the drug sponsor liked the initial results and decided to accept more participants.  It will also be chemo infusion and would require me to stay long at the hospital.

Well I am ready.  Since coming back from MD Anderson, I have been working out, running, and keeping active.  This cancer has brought me all over and tested me at every turn.  Cancer is my reality; the life I live through everyday is the dream.  I have so many wishes but I temper my expectation to what I can achieve or get.  That’s why it is better to live your life one day at a time.

Monday is marathon day for me.  My bib say number 5.  I know there could be problems ahead, right now all I want is to finish..in one piece.



P.S.  My miles are slowly building up again.  Tomorrow let see if I can do 10 miles.

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On the attack.

January 10, 2012

couldn’t believe the energy I had this morning at my 5:15 am spinning class. I was angry and was taking it out on the bike. I was imagining myself attacking a hill on the climbs, then pushing, jarring, and coaxing the bike for the last sprint to the finish.

I hate cancer!

That’s payback, sucker. I am still up after you gave it your best shot.

Saturday early morning:

I drink my anti-nausea pill, Zofran. Oh no, only two left. I need to have this refilled. Nausea woke me up from an unrestful sleep and it is threatening to take over my day. My chemo ended Thursday, as usual, and I got my usual dose of vitamin infusion right after (given by my wife) to help me recover. Then, an injection of Neulasta Friday to boost my immunity.  I thought I was set for normal recovery.

Wrong. Very wrong. Nothing is normal this Saturday early morning. The house is quite but I am very nauseated. Got to eat. I crawl to the fridge careful not to disturb the wife sleeping and started with yogurt. It kept for a while, then out it goes. Ah, nothing like the taste of vomit to perk up your morning. I struggle throughout the day of trying to keep food in my stomach with apples, soup, bread, grapes, cherries, smoothies, whatever. My normal recover diet is not working. Each time I thought I make slow progress, out it goes. WTF.

My patience is getting short. My wife has never seen me this way before; struggling to cope, balled up in front of a plastic basin, nose dripping, mouth frothed with saliva and stomach mucous. She warns me if I keep this up she will bring me to the hospital. I snap and stubbornly said “NO!” I am so tired of being sick and I do not need another place where there are sick people. In solitude, I bear the pain staring blankly in front of the TV. I should not be hard on her. In all honesty, she is my life. I need her. A hospital bed would keep me from feeling her warmth beside me.  That’s the truth.

My meds are not working and it is almost gone. She calls the pharmacy for refills, then of course nothing is simple. Insurance problem. I have new insurance for the year. From the pharmacy she calls me, do have the new prescription card, babes? I don’t know, I replied in even tone holding down the frustration in my voice. The pharmacy is about to close too. Not my day, I guess. She pays the full price.

She tells me she will go to her hospital and get some saline solution for me. By now it is night-time and she finds me in the sofa recovering and have not eaten. Armed with two liters of saline solution and a paraphernalia of tubings and needles, she arranges everything as if I am in the ER. She is on a mission. She dismantles the curtain rod that was tied to our headboard, which we use to hang my vitamin infusion, then ties it to the back of the dining chair that she dragged beside the sofa in our living room. She hooks a liter of saline and connects all the tubings.

This is going to hurt, she tells me as she surveys my left hand for a good vein to stick. She ties a tourniquet, steadies my hand, sticks the needle, aims for the vein but it rolls. She pushes and chases the vein, then it collapse. That hurts. You are dehydrated, she tells me. You veins are rubbery and apologizes for hurting me more since I am already suffering. She moves to my right hand, surveys it, and feels something. She uses a smaller needle, since it is deep, and goes after it. I close my eyes expecting the worst. Success!

Back to present:

As I spin away, I look back at the events after finishing two liters of saline solution. I thought my agony had ended when I started to stabilized and got some intermittent sleep that night, but then comes diarrhea. I managed to contain it through the weekend. I gained back my strength and even made to a yoga class with mask on for protection. Now, I am attacking this hill in my spinning class . Push. Push. Push. I want to punish this cancer for putting me through the painful meat grinder. It even made me lashed out to those who love and care for me. I am going to kill this SOB. FU, cancer! It is payback time and I am also giving it to you full price. I HATE CANCER!

It was a good workout this morning. The sun was just rising when I finished too. New day. Another chance on life.

I lost 3.4 pounds. I need to gain it back by Tuesday. My stomach has shrunk from all the vomit contraction but I am slowly eating my way back. Today, after that hard workout, breakfast was a pancake along with a three-egg cheese omelette, then later I snacked on half a bag of edemame pods with green tea while working. For lunch, baked mac n cheese I made with egg wide-noodles, fontina, mozzarella, and parmessan cheese, then I snacked on apples and edemame again. For dinner, a bowl of lentil vegetable soup with toasted garlic bread and finish off with fresh avocado with milk as dessert. But wait…as I was writing this I craved for pasta, Maggiano’s spaghetti marinara and some calamari fritos. Done. After posting this, I think I will have ice cream before going to sleep.

Whoa is me. I am going to do this eating again tomorrow…sucks (joke). Life is good.


P.S.  I think I have used up all my allotted profanity for the year.  Sorry, mom, I promise to go to confession this Sunday.

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