Number Two

Infusion #2 is done and over. Pretty much the same thing as #1. Plenty of blood drawn first thing in the morning before seeing Dr. Pishvaian. The only thing of any real interest was the conversation I had with Dr. P. about the timing of my next CT Scan. I’m supposed to have it prior to treatment #4 which is April 11. Unfortunately the good doctor and his family will be on Spring vacation in Rome and he wasn’t happy over the prospect of being away if the scan comes back with poor results. The problem with moving the date around is the scan is part of the trial I’m on and the protocol has a set window of when these scans need to be done. I’d thought this through before seeing him and plainly asked, “So what would our recourse be if the result comes back showing a new tumor?”

Dr. P’s reply was, “There could be three outcomes of the scan. First we see a decrease and of course that would require no change. The second is an increase in size but no new tumors. This could be the result of the tumors being inflamed from the treatment and could be seen as a positive sign so we would continue with the treatment. Third possibility is there is new growth in which case we would have to discuss what our next course of treatment will be. But, that wouldn’t necessarily rule you out from continuing with the trial if you wanted to try and continue on it.”

“So, whether there is new growth or not I can have the infusion on the 11th?”


“Then why don’t we plan on my having the scan on 7th and you can have one of your colleagues see me on the 11th. Worst case I still have the infusion and then see you as soon as you get back. I appreciate you wanting to be here to break any possible bad news, but it won’t change the direction I’d take on the 11th so go enjoy your vacation.”

I could see he wasn’t completely thrilled by this but in the end he agreed to it. I don’t doubt for a minute I’ll get an email from him as soon as he knows something – no matter where he is.

Carol running an EKG

Back upstairs I waited until just after 11:00am for the Keytruda and my next batch of pills to be brought up from the pharmacy. The infusion only takes about 30 minutes and I take my dose of pills at the same time. After the infusion I have a single blood sample taken and EKG run once every 5 minutes. This happens 1, 2, 4 and 5 hours after taking the pills.

Here’s a picture of Carol taking my EKG. She’s new from when I was last here and is a real sweet heart.

Kim, who is my regular nurse and was the last time as well, got me out the door at 4:30.

Thursday I’ll be back at Georgetown for my biopsy.

2017-03-03T14:56:00-04:00 February 28th, 2017|Categories: Cancer, Cancer Update, Timeline|2 Comments


  1. rose blondell March 3, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    This is all so informative and interesting, Mike. Also of course, so meaningful to your treatment. I think it seems your doctor is very caring and involved. Thankful for that too.

  2. Sherry March 3, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    I predict no new tumors, but current ones enflamed…cause, you know, your immune system is doing a “smashing” job.

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