Monday, November 10, 2014

Chicago, Here we go again!

Here we go again.  After two more 12 hour shifts, the first snowstorm of the season was looming on the radar. The first flakes started flying as we hit the road.

Snow starting to fall
Girls and I falling asleep Zzzzzzzzz.
 By the time we crossed the Wisconsin border, the snow was blowing and it was getting hard to see the road. We saw a jack-knifed semi and many cars in the ditch. We journeyed on. Illinois welcomed us with sunshine coming up over the horizon. The blinding snow stopped.

Bathroom break
We made it in time for my appointment. I had vital signs taken, labs drawn, and filled out questionaires. We went over the side effects of Lucitanib, the drug I will be taking. It can cause anorexia and can damage the heart which is the reason behind all the tests and monitoring. Lucitanib blocks the action of certain molecules called "angiogenic factors" that may cause tumor cells to grow. The biopsy I had back in April identified that I had elevated levels of the factors that Lucitanib blocks. Due to the potential cardiac side effects, I will have check my blood pressure at home twice a week.

This drug has shown promising results in previous clinical trials. This is a phase 2 Clinical Trial specifically for Metastatic Breast Cancer. The trial will compare the efficacy of 2 doses of the drug. Participants are randomized to the dose we are given. I am the first person in this trial.  



Study Questions

Part 2

BPs with "Doctor's Office" Accuracy!

There was no peripheral IV start. No waiting for the Pharmacist to mix my chemo, then waiting for it to infuse. Lucitanib is a pill. Down the hatch it went. After I took my first dose, I had to wait two hours, then have another EKG to compare with my baseline.

Study Drug


The hospital sits next to a beautiful park, Washington Park. We walked together, exploring and enjoying a lovely 60 degree day. We found a massive, breathtaking sculpture called The Fountain of Time, created by artist Lorado Taft in 1920. An ominous hooded figure, Father Time, stands alone and faces probably 100 carved figures as they move past in all the stages of life. Birth, family, struggle, love, art, religion, war,.... death all pass time. There were waves and movement in the concrete, a couple kissing, a mother holding her child, a woman suffering... all melting into one another, part of each other in a real and lasting way.

Maybe many people who experience this sculpture are moved by it in some way. I saw myself among those figures. I feel my time is running out...

Fountain of Time

Fountain of time

Starting this drug means we need to follow the clinical trail to the letter. All of my labs and scans have to be completed in Chicago, so I'll be back two more times in November. Then, in December we will do scans and see if it is working. If it is working, we need come back 2 weeks later. Then, once a month after that.

Drive home

Fun treat on the way

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