On Monday I started my clinical trial at Peter Mac. It is an immunotherapy combination trial. Essentially my type of bowel cancer doesn’t respond well to immunotherapy alone, so this trial adds another agent to try to change the tumour micro environment to increase the response.
It was a long day, with bloods at 7:30am, the consultant at 9:30 and then treatment and monitoring from 11. I saw Jayesh Desai, who I had last seen a couple of years ago, who is the principal investigator on the trial. He spent a lot of time with mum and I and had some useful insights into my cough, which has been frequent and annoying, sometimes causing me to vomit. He is an extremely lovely doctor and I highly recommend him.
Jayesh also gave me my scan results. I knew my blood markers were reasonably low but it is always anxiety provoking to get results. The good news is they are stable.
I had the main side effect from the trial drugs which is a terrible headache. It lingered until Thursday but hopefully it will ease each cycle.
I’m also very tired – I think in part from the travel to Melbourne but also because I have been so stressed about finding a trial and getting on it. Finding an appropriate trial and making it happen has been one of the hardest things since diagnosis. For various reasons I’ve had no support from my Canberra medical team, and it has really been anxiety provoking. I’m very grateful for my existing relationship with Peter Mac and my oncologist Michael who I know did lots of work to get me on the trial.
I have two more trips to Melbourne this week for bloods and then treatment again on the 16th. Future cycles will be a bit less demanding in terms of travel, with the exception of cycle 4.
I would really appreciate all thoughts, prayers, good vibes etc for this trial. It’s hard to know if it will work as I’m only the 30th person worldwide to have this combination.