Can you say Romidepsin ?

Last week was spent completing various testing and reviewing treatment options.  There was one specific clinical trial that seemed to be the most interesting for my particular situation.  One problem that was identified during my testing was the fact that some of my blood counts are lower than normal, probably as a result of the earlier radiation treatments, and did not meet the minimum requirements for the clinical trial.  If we had decided to wait a few more weeks for these counts to increase, I would probably get accepted into the trial.  But it has been 2 months since my initial diagnosis and further delay in starting treatment just did not seem a desirable approach.  So I withdrew my application for the clinical trial, which is still a potential option sometime in the future, and have elected to begin treatment under a different protocol.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will receive my first infusion of a drug called Romidepsin.  Unlike my last chemotherapy treatment, which involved a cocktail of 5 different drugs, this treatment will only involve this one drug.  The infusion takes 4 hours to complete and is administered over a 4 week cycle.  Weeks 1, 2 and 3 involve an infusion and week 4 is an off week, or recovery week.  At that point the cycle repeats.  I am not sure yet as to the schedule for reassessment testing, nor how many cycles are expected to reach completion.  Obviously, everything is dependent on how the disease reacts to Romidepsin, and that remains to be seen.

One other unknown is how my body will react to this new chemotherapy treatment.  Only receiving 1 drug instead of 5 will likely minimize the chances of a negative reaction.  My experience during my earlier chemo treatments, and the bone marrow transplant process, was quite positive, with very few side effects.  I am hopeful that my history of being able to withstand the rigors of these chemotherapy drugs will continue, and my reaction will be quite minimal.  But each drug is different so we will just have to see how things go over the next few weeks.

I can think of numerous other things that I would prefer to do tomorrow, rather than drive 1 1/2 hours to Duke Cancer Center, and spend 4 hours having a poisonous drug pumped into my bloodstream.  But I have cancer.  I don't like the fact that this monster has invaded my body and is intent on ending my life.  But I must face the reality of things. So the sooner this treatment process gets started, the sooner my cancer begins receiving the treatments that will completely eradicate it.

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