Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Hope Nivolumab

Well, I started my new clinical trial last week, an immuno-therapy drug called Nivolumab.  It doesn't actually treat the cancer, it treats my immune system.  I don't understand the exact science but the drug basically turns on killer cells in my body that were previously for some reason ignoring the cancer.  I've read more than once that it's the future of cancer treatment in many other types like melanoma, lung, certain breast cancers and others that I can't recall at the moment.  The best part is that there are very few if any side effects.  It almost seems to good to be true but the FDA was impressed enough with the potential to grant the drug "breakthrough status" which only happens if a phase 1 has really impressive results.

So, after a little rough start (my disease became inflamed and caused quite a bit of pain in my back and pretty much my whole body), I am now hopeful after hitting my low yesterday thinking I was regressing after feeling like crap all day, barely able to get out of bed.  Today I felt like a completely different person, at least in the early part of the day.  I've been dealing with a pleural rub where I can feel something (tumor) rubbing on my lower rt lung when I breathe.  Not a very pleasant feeling I can tell you.  Hoping this continues to improve as my energy level was much better today and it seemed like my back felt better too.

Going to try and get out tomorrow to celebrate, my first time out in a while.  Going to see Pearl Jam at Joe Louis arena so that should be fun.

Here's to having a beer without having horrible back pain.  Haven't had a beer in almost a month, just too painful, not worth it.  I happen to express a rare disease symptom in Hodgkins where I have pain in my tumor sites when I have only a few sips of alcohol.  It's a burning inside out pain that to me feels like either being shot or stabbed (-even thought neither has happened to me, I can only imagine, I bet this is close though, sometimes difficult to breathe). 

Ok, cheers to Bristol Myers for inventing this promising new drug!  I hope to God it works for me...