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Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Trial

Friday was just another day in the office, as well as Valentines day.  Leonie went off to work and I went into work too.  The team, Rob in particular, now thought it funny to start giving me some work.  I had quite a productive day, getting things sorted ready for when I was going to be in chemo.  I have created a little project for myself and I let Karyn know my plans.

All in all, nothing unsuspecting was happening, until I received another call from the hosiptal.  This time it was a nurse from oncology, Claire Searle.  She wanted me to come in as soon as possible to discuss a clinical trial.  I told her I would be in later in the afternoon.  I went to tell Karyn they wanted me to go in to discuss a trial and she told me to leave when I needed to.  I really cannot express how special Karyn has been, so supportive and compassionate,  she is always there with words of wisdom and I guess, outside of my family, she has been my rock during this situation.

I left work shortly after 3pm, and got to the hospital.  I went into Rosemere Cancer Centre, which I guess over the next couple of months could become a second home.  At reception, they were expecting me.  Claire came down to meet me and she introduced me to another nurse, Sheila.  Its strange as my two sisters are Sheila and Janette, and two of the many nurses who will be with me during the treatment are Sheila (oncology) and Jeanette (upper GI), it helps that I don't have to remeber too many names, it's also good to have some familiarity as well, even if it is just a name; another upper GI nurse is Karen, and my boss at work is also Karyn, both of whom are really supportive.  Dr Mitchell was also there.

We sat down and they explained that they needed me in today as legally I had to have at least 24 hours to make a decision about taking part in the trial.  They fully explained what the clinical trial involves, these were a little confusing, loads of information like stopping VEGF, in conjunction with chemo, randomised samples, more tests.  Dr Mitchell went onto explain the side affects of the drug that they intend to use, Avastin, which is essentially the trial.  These side affects are pretty scary.

As part of the trial, called ST03 (check out the drug, Avastin, and the trial by putting it in a google search, there is loads of information, news articles and videos on line), I am required to have more tests, heart, lungs, protein and hearing, all pre chemo, and then these will be checked and monitored throughout the chemo.  More scans, possibly more injections, but overall more monitoring.  If I am randomly chosen to take part, if I agree, the Avastin medication will then be administered throughout chemo and after for another 18 weeks.  It was a lot to take in, but the team gave me a lot of information to read through before I make the decision on Tuesday.

I went home and explained what I knew to Leonie, I decided not read through it until Saturday, after all it was Valentines day.  We had a curry, and put on Memoirs of a Geisha, a film that I really enjoy, traditional Japenese culture and a nice looking women, alongside my wife, it was a good night, which ended a good week.


  1. Hi ric, just catching up and left with your dilemma of trial or no trial. I was on a trial and personally it led to getting a lot more attention from the nurses... so now you have that fact you can make a considered decision! !!!

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    1. Karyn here - Right ok, firstly you made me cry but thank you so much for your kind words x....

      I have googled the trial and treatment (because you said I could) sooo if you decide to take part in it...I will be ordering lots of bubble wrap so it's ready when you start it :) also the hot flushes I can advise you on Haha.. these shall only be known as tropical moments I will also lend you my fan (the one Maz left me).

      I've seen you run 32 miles, so I'm sure you will be able cope with the side affects, and if you're having a rubbish day we'll just leave you alone to be quiet... Yes it's a big decision to make, but it seems you will get closer attention and monitored regularly...It's a tough choice, but whatever you decide to do you know you will always have our support. :D