Yup, today seems like a complete do over of two years ago. Today is my first infusion of Pembrolizumab – part of the new immunotherapy clinical trial I’m participating in >> Pembrolizumab Combined With INCB039110 and/or Pembrolizumab Combined With INCB050465 in Advanced Solid Tumors.
I headed down to Medstar Georgetown Hospital this morning for a 7:45am appointment with the dear ladies at 5North. Well dear ladies and Jason, he’s a new addition to the team of oncology nurses who administer the clinical trials. Carol – the other newcomer since I was last here, set me up with an IV and took my blood along with running an EKG. After that I headed downstairs to see Dr. Pishvaian.
Before seeing Dr. P. I spoke with Jennifer Montcalm who is clinical research nurse in charge of my study. She went over today’s protocol and then informed me I would be getting INCB050465 – generic name: Idelalisib. This is also a pill that I’ll be taking daily but I’d been lead to believe I’d be receiving the other medication so this news really threw me. A quick Google search while still waiting for Dr. P. didn’t help any. I was finding too many reports listing side effects with a higher rate of occurrence than the other medication. Thankfully Dr. Pishvaian placated my concerns as he has first hand experience with patients using the same drug combination and there experience has been very good. He was completely confident that I’d be no worst for wear.
Back up stairs in 5N the deja vu continued as I sat waiting for the pharmacy to get my medication up to me. The fact that I couldn’t eat for an hour after I took the pill made the wait a long one. Finally at 11:00 my meds arrived and the infusion started. Carol came by with the sandwich cart at 11:30 and left me my favorite, a tuna fish sandwich. So of course that meant sitting there looking at lunch and watching the clock slowly ebb it’s way to noon.
Noon rolled around and with it another blood draw (only 1 tube this time) and another EKG. I have to do this again at 2:00, 4:00 and 6:00. Thankfully they have an hour leeway in the study which allows them to do the final test at 5:00 and then I can get out of here. I’ll do this again in 3 weeks.
In the mean time I have to take 20mg of Idelalsib every morning which is fun because they only have it in 5mg pills. These things are too tiny and I can only imagine dropping them. Next Tuesday and the following Tuesday I have to come back down here in the morning for another blood draw, EKG and quick visit with Dr. Pishvaian.
Got to go – it’s 2:00 – time for another EKG and another blood letting. 🙂