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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dr. Richardson visit

Today is Day 1 of Cycle 2 of my clinical trial.  This is the first chance we've had to meet with Dr. Richardson since July.  Despite the fact that they don't have much data yet about how the medications are affecting the course of the Multiple Myeloma, it was a very good day.  First of all, I am tolerating the dosages well without any noticeable side effects or excessive suppression of my immune system.  Second, there is a palpable sense of enthusiasm for this protocol among the medical team, which translates to a feeling of optimism all around.  

The attached picture shows my ace medical team together:  nurse Kathy Colson, who manages this clinical trial (either fixing her hair or summoning spirits), Richardson, and Dr. Claudia Paba-Prada, Richardson's Research Fellow (although it's hard for me to think of her as a fellow).  Richardson is in the middle.

I have already expressed how I feel that the stars must have been aligned just so for me to find the right doctor at the right clinic with the right protocol at the right time.  Little did we know until today just how aligned they have been.  On my first visit, when I was diagnosed with MM, I was immediately offered a chance to participate in this Phase I clinical trial.  As it turns out, there was another patient at DFCI with the initials W.O. who was slated to join this trial, but who backed out at the last minute.  Normally, the next opportunity for a patient to participate would then go to one of the other participating institutions.  However, since DFCI had a slot open for someone with the initials W.O., they were able to keep the slot and insert me instead.  Somebody pinch me!  As I said, today was a good day.

We also found out today that I was the last patient everyone has been waiting for to determine whether Phase I has been successful.  My blood tests today would determine whether they have found the proper dosing levels so that they can proceed to Phase II of the clinical trial and recruit hundreds of additional MM patients.  Because my tests came back great, they have already started the process of immediately transitioning to this next phase.  We are very grateful.

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