March 16, 2016
After an exhaustive comparison of over twenty clinical trials, we had determined that one fit the bill—a trial of the experimental GVAX vaccine run by Johns Hopkins and available locally in Portland.
However, after talking with staff at Providence and at Johns Hopkins, we discovered that we all had overlooked an earlier exclusion criterion—Michelle having had ascites (abdominal fluid) at any point—and weren't eligible. There are many other trials that are still options as possible third-line treatment, but we have decided to not worry about that today and to put our trust in the FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy as the next line of treatment. We are at OHSU now kicking that off with a full day of treatment.
The new regimen is four medications and a longer day at the clinic—they are expecting us to be here from 10am to about 5:30pm today. Aside from possible side effect differences, the other big changes are that the treatments are every other week and that the fourth medication is sent home with us in a small pump device that remains attached for two days on a continuous drip. Michelle will carry it in a small bag or strap and can't get it wet, but otherwise it should be fairly straightforward.
Stay tuned—we'll post another update soon as we settle into the new routine and focus on staying positive and helping the medicine do its job.
Kicking cancer’s ass today. pic.twitter.com/guLTLl1IYO— Michelle Petruzzi (@mpetruzzi79) March 16, 2016
Website note: since we are continuing to post so many updates on this site now, we are going to move it to more of a blog format with individual post pages and hopefully some more visual liveliness. So keep your eyes peeled for something a little more pretty to look at soon.