Nov 18, 2011 - 1:35 am
We are back up at OHSU and David is being treated with the BBBD protocol. Dr. Neuwelt and his staff worked out the insurance issues for us--that's a miracle. Even Dr. N's top assistant did not think the insurance would authorize the treatments. Actually, they had us add David to Medicare, and Medicare is paying part, and the insurance is paying the remainder. I was afraid to count on David getting the treatment until they actually did the treatment. I am so relieved that Dr. Neuwelt was able to get approval for the BBBD, and that David is being treated in a timely manner...actually being treated two weeks sooner than we expected.
David had a port put in yesterday. They placed a permanent catheter in his chest, on the right side, in his jugular vein. It has a triangular shaped access port with a silicon top that is connected to the catheter. The access port is right under the skin. When he comes to the hospital, specially trained nurses put a little triangle needle thing through his skin into the silicon top of the port. They leave the lines dangling out on his chest, and whenever he needs medicine, bloodwork, chemo, etc, they can access that port through the dangling line without sticking needles in his veins. The purpose of the port is to protect his veins from being poked all the time, and from being destroyed by the chemo. It also allows the chemo and other medicines to mix faster with his blood. He actually has a "power port" which is a little bigger than a regular one, and it has a double head. It's kind of creepy to think about that thing sitting there under his skin, but it should make things easier for David. It was really bothering him and hurting him. They have been giving him pain medicine for it but they say it will just take some time to heal and not hurt him.
David was really groggy when he came back to his room after getting the BBBD and the chemo. But he was able to eat breakfast before the next thing that had to be done...and the next thing was a new, high powered drug called STS that counteracts one of the side effects of the BBBD chemo....severe hearing loss. Like...going deaf severe. STS prevents hearing damage. But it also causes severe nausea and chills. So they gave David really strong anti nausea medicines and then the STS. They put the anti nausea into his port and it was like they flipped a switch. He passed out before they even got it all into his port, and he slept the whole day. It's 10:30 pm and he's still asleep. They had a difficult time rousing him to do his neurological checks. They did the STS and anti nausea around 11:30 am and again around 4 pm. We repeat this whole process again tomorrow: the BBBD, the chemo, the two doses of STS and the anti nausea medicines.
The good part is that David does not have a headache....that's HUGE!!! And he didn't throw up at all...that's HUGE too!!! He was so violently sick last time...it was awful. The nurse said that throwing up puts pressure on his head and makes everything worse, and they want to avoid that very much. So we are very glad that he's not sick like last time.
They did an MRI before the BBBD and chemo, and said that the tumors are stable...maybe even showing a little shrinkage from the intra-arterial chemo last month. I would have liked to have heard that there was a lot of shrinkage, but that's still great news and I am thanking God for it. And if the intra-arterial chemo without the BBBD helped last month, maybe we will see even better results from this month's treatment with the BBBD added to the treatment. I'm praying for that to happen.
So this is where we are at today. I'm still trying to take it one day at a time, but I can't help but hope that this is going to really help David and buy him some more time.
Love and blessings,