Saturday, June 21, 2008

cure for mikey?

Last Tuesday’s blood results were the worst (lowest) yet: WBC: 4.1 & PLT: 109; and should have, in my (now semi-professional patient) opinion, contraindicated last week’s chemo cycle, considering I have surgical wounds that have yet to heal.

(Ukraine) Jane came with me for the first two days. We got to Motol shortly after ten on Wednesday and, as always on the first day, they weren’t ready for me (even though I had stopped by the day before to prevent this exact thing from happening) – no room, no chemo, no excuses. I had been out until two in the morning at karaoke the night before and had slept precious little. They finally got started around 1:30, finishing after six. I had them use the same vein as last time, which is now showing wear and maybe even some tear.

Thursday went much more smoothly. Here’s a picture of Jane messing around with my pump:

Mary came with me yesterday morning and Vrat picked me up. I’ve pretty much had it with chemo. It’s working(?) at cross-purposes to all my other (completely non-toxic) therapies: Traditional Chinese Medicine, curcumin, etc., while precluding others: antioxidants, zeolite, etc. – basically anything meant to actually improve my immunity.

Chemo destroys cells that multiply quickly: platelets, white blood cells (immune system), skin (including hair) and the entire gastro-intestinal tract (hence the nausea), before getting to the cancer. It’s slowly, but surely, destroying my immune system – my former, and hopefully future, pride and joy.

I’m supposed to begin my next cycle on the tenth of July, but will discuss canceling it with my oncologist. Although I do think it’s bought me some time to allow my other ‘therapies’ to work, I think it’s reached the end of its effectiveness – diminishing returns, as it were. I want to be as close to 100% before starting radiation next month. I got my first voluntary haircut since August last week and would like to keep it that way.

Thanks for forwarding the info about the recent immunotherapy success – immunotherapy (still experimental, but promising) and spontaneous remission (very rare) really being the only chances at beating this thing(s). It’s very encouraging and I will most likely apply for the clinical trial in Seattle on Monday. I qualify completely except for the “Progressive disease after conventional therapy” part – as, knock on wood, that is not yet my case.

‘Dr Cassian Yee, who led the project, said: “For this patient we were successful, but we would need to confirm the effectiveness of therapy in a larger study.”’

This ‘larger study’ is currently recruiting only 12 patients and uses autologous CD8+ T-cell clones as opposed to CD4+ [the one(s) referred to in the success story], the differences therebetween completely escaping me. It’s a Phase I trial, so they’re primarily testing for toxicity, but I don’t see how cloned T-cells can be toxic. We’ll see. More as this story develops and as always, thank you for your support.


Una on Tour said...

Hey Mike

I just want you to know that I think that your blog is amazing, you are a fantastic writer and still manage to make me smile, even while reporting not also such good news. I think you are so brave and strong over the last couple of months. And you are, as always, in my thoughts. If I believed in god you would also be in my prayers.


Jake Doyle said...

Hi Mike! I've been praying to all the power in the universe to speed you on your way to "beyond full" recovery. I just read an interesting bit in The Economist about Dr. Dean Ornish, the Harvard educated MD who proved you can reverse heart disease with comprehensive lifestyle change: vegetarianism, meditation, Yoga, social interaction and exercise. It seems there is evidence the same turn could work to reverse cancer. Bringing your body into balance. Cancer, after all, is not an invasive organism, but a desperate reaction of your own cells trying to survive on their own, out of touch with each other. Raw vegetables and fruit, soaked almonds, juices; all in moderation. Yoga and meditation. You may give them a fair trial if you haven't already. Let me know if you'd like to hear more. All the best, Brother!