Treatment Start in Sight   January 22nd, 2012

I got word last Wednesday morning from my most excellent oncology nurse Ellen that all hurdles with my insurance company had been surmounted. And after going to the hospital to get blood drawn for reference values, I learned that I would be meeting with my oncologist next Wednesday for a final consult to precede my first injection of ipilimumab, also set for next Wednesday afternoon.

One thing I failed to mention in last week’s downer of a blog post was that one purpose of ipi is to set the brakes free on one’s white blood cells to allow them to better fight infection. Considering many of my existing white blood cells are TIL cells design to target my tumors, the ipilimumab should have a positive impact on slowing the growth of my melanoma. Not looking forward to the itchy skin side effect as I already have very itchy skin from both the radiation treatments I have gone through. My next ipi injection will be three weeks from Wednesday, and I have a Brain MRI scheduled on February 9th to see if my brain tumors are shrinking from the ipi. If shrinkage occurs, I will get to avoid brain surgery to remove a tumor in my right temple (which has been leading to small seizures on the left side of my body) and another tumor located on my cerebellum back of the head at the top of the spinal column. If there is tumor shrinkage due to the ipi – it should manifest itself after the first or second injection I won’t know until after my consult on Wednesday how often I will need to get CT or PET scans. My newly found distant cousin Carolynne has suggested that since we share similar genetics that ipi should work well for me, because it has done so for her. And since it boosts the effectiveness of TIL cells, that’s another variable in the tumor-fighting equation.

One practical impact this latest development has on future plans is that the 12 weeks of treatment will prevent us from moving back to Bonaire in April as we had hoped we coud do as of a few weeks ago. Instead, to conserve resources we will be moving into a house owned by Linda’s family in Chester, NH, not far from where we used to live in Derry, NH before moving to Bonaire in 1997.


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This entry was posted on Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 at 23:32 and is filed under Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

22 Responses

January 22nd, 2012 at 23:54
Corky and Sy Says:

Good luck with the ipi treatment, Jake. Stay strong. We’re still sending out those positive thoughts, hugs and love.

January 23rd, 2012 at 01:14
Carole Says:

Best of luck, Jake. You know we are with you all the way. Your cousin’s success with this is a good thing….sounds promising. Hope your move goes well and that you will be back on island before you know it. Hugs, Carole & Joe

January 23rd, 2012 at 01:42
Barbara Leary Says:

Hoping for great success with the ipi. Love and hugs, Barbara & Alison

January 23rd, 2012 at 06:26
Jarmila Richter Says:

Jake, I have seen the recent Jamie (melanoma mom) blog and found it very encouraging. You might like to check on that.

Looking forward to your ipi treatment fight! Even being far away, you are in our thoughts day and night. Love, mom.

January 23rd, 2012 at 06:42
Wallace Says:

Best of luck. Routing for you.

January 23rd, 2012 at 07:06
Denise & Teddy Says:

Hugs to you Jake. Our hearts are in this with you. NH is beautiful in winter, and peaceful. Looking forward to Spring and only the very best of results.
Denise and Teddy

January 23rd, 2012 at 07:36
Tish Says:

Hurrah for ipi and to NED!

January 23rd, 2012 at 07:41
Ann Phelan Says:

healing hugs….be well, Jake…

January 23rd, 2012 at 08:30
Margreth Says:

Keep the spirit. Big hugs for the whole family.

January 23rd, 2012 at 08:57
Steve Smith Says:

Your strength is inspirational, Jake. Hoping for good results from the upcoming MRI on Feb.9th.

January 23rd, 2012 at 11:12
Ford Says:

That is great news. …was lucky enough to spend a winter in NH — we had woodburning stoves in a house from the early 1800’s. Very cozy.

January 23rd, 2012 at 12:34
Jamie Says:

The ipi is going to work, Jake, I know it is! 2012 is the year of NED. You are awesome.

January 23rd, 2012 at 15:14
Ann Dederer Says:

Thanks so much for the update and good news on the insurance coverage and results ipi can achieve. I hope these treatments go well and positive results come quickly. We are thinking of you all.



January 23rd, 2012 at 17:41
Trent & Cinde W Says:

Sending hugs to you all and healing vibes~~~

January 24th, 2012 at 13:29
Tara Smith Says:

Always sending positive, white light your way Jake.
Sounds like you’ve got a good plan worked out!
Much love,
Tara and Guy

January 24th, 2012 at 14:29
Anna and Art Says:

All the best for good health. Good energy and vibes are being sent your way.

January 24th, 2012 at 14:37
hannah Says:

Here’s to NED! I hope this will work well, and you will be on the road to NED. Was thinking of you and Linda this past weekend while skiing in the Dolomites! Wonderful thoughts of healing being sent your way..


January 25th, 2012 at 07:18
Vince D Says:

Best of luck with the Ipi Rx.Sounds promising since it worked with your cousin (who from her picture looks like she’s your twin). Stay strong in 2012. Glad you got the insurance stuff resolved. NH is a wonderful state. We look forward to our move there sometime later this year.

January 25th, 2012 at 09:42
pat and mary murphy Says:

Good Luck Jake. you and your family are in our thoughts. we’re pulling for you.

January 25th, 2012 at 15:39
Rolf Says:

Jake. You are one tough son of a …gun :) Please feel the prayers so many folks are sending up for such a great guy. We anxiously await good news from these new procedures !!

January 25th, 2012 at 17:34
Leslie Says:

Ipi sounds like a great thing:
Go, ipi, GO!

January 26th, 2012 at 08:59
Mona Wirth Says:

You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers, asking God for the guidance for you medical team and his healing grace. The effectiveness of the ipi treatment on your distant cousin is certainly encouraging! Hoping that some of the side effects can be mitigated by alternative healing. Hugs,