First infusion of ipilimumab completed!   January 25th, 2012

After a brief meeting with my oncologist this afternoon to go over what to look out for with respect to the side effects of ipilimumab – skin rashes and gastric issues – so we could let the hospital know that it’s happening.

The doctor said that the soonest I might experience the rash (the most likely side-effect) would be about two weeks from now.

My newly found cousin Carolynne who is also on ipi as part of a clinical trial says that after her initial four doses she had no side effects. I got to see her today because she had an appointment with my oncologist directly following my appointment, and she and her husband Mark came to visit us in the waiting room of the infusion center

The infusion of the ipi took place in Mass General’s Yawkey Outpatient Center on the 8th floor (one floor below where my oncologist holds his consultations. The infusion center is also where chemotherapy patients get their chemo treatments – each infusion area includes a TV and several chairs for guests, as well a chair designed much like a La-Z-Boy but not nearly as comfortable (for the patient).

This combination can create raucous neighbors as we discovered today. The guy visiting the patient in the infusion area to my right spoke loudly about everything, and seemed to be a know-it-all about every subject. Noise canceling headphones along with a music source are coming with us for the next infusion in three weeks to help drown out adjacent conversations and televisions.

We learned that the ipi infusion process takes over two hours as the nurses first have the hospital pharmacy prepare the ipilimumab infusion (267 ml for me based on height 6’2″ and weight (195 pounds clothed) – which takes about 45 minutes. The infusion is administered via IV (intravenously) over a 90 minute period along with time spent in the waiting room we spent about two and a half hours waiting to complete the first infusion of ipi.

The next excitement comes about on Friday afternoon when we go shopping for a used vehicle to use while we are living in the house in Chester. If anyone has good suggestions on how to not get ripped off by used car salesmen, let us know.

The next medical treatment takes place in the form of a Brain MRI on February 9th – a week before the second infusion of ipi and I may have another set of body scans a few weeks later (between the second and third ipi infusions) which may impact a booked trip home to Bonaire in the middle of March – the results of the scans would be more important than going back to Bonaire for a couple of weeks, I figure.


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 at 23:28 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.

20 Responses

January 26th, 2012 at 08:19
Kim Says:

Awesome! Nice to know that this wonderful drug is in there kicking the ass of that cancer. Onward and upward, heres to NED in 2012! ~cheers

January 26th, 2012 at 09:32
Scott Says:

Thanks for the update Jake :) The noise canceling headsets work wonders! I am sure it’ll be nice to see ‘home’ again in the coming month….. Thoughts/Hugs/Love,

January 26th, 2012 at 09:40
Bill Heyman Says:

Wonderful, Jake! I’m hoping the ipi effects are minimal for you.


January 26th, 2012 at 09:47
Tish Says:

Great you’re on the ipi now. Would be wonderful to see you on Bonaire again in March, but you’ve got your priorities right. Hoping for no side effects.
Love and hugs to you all!

January 26th, 2012 at 10:07
Marie Brown Says:

This is the one! Go, Jake. Onto NED!


January 26th, 2012 at 10:57
Denise & Teddy Says:

A new day, a new step forward. Thank you for the update Jake and the level of detail that helps us to understand. We wish you and your cousin NED in 2012. Hugs to you all.

Regarding used car salesman; you have mail. My BIL is the General Manager at Allen Mello Dodge in Nashua. He’s a good guy :-) I gave him a call, had to leave him a voice mail. Good luck

January 26th, 2012 at 11:04
Ford Says:

Amazing, this fight. Good to see the front extended to the ominous omnipresence of television. Conquer one technology with another. Jake the Conqueror. I hope the headsets do the job.

January 26th, 2012 at 11:08
Jean Says:

Hi Jake & Linda,
Sounds like the infusion process is going well. Since I live in Manchester, near Chester NH, if I can help in any way with your move, or rides in my car whenever in the next few days,weeks or months, PLEASE let me know… call anytime and I’ll adjust my normally flexible schedule. Best wishes,

January 26th, 2012 at 11:36
Irma Says:

No X-box in the infusion center ? that sucks ;-)

Heaps of love from bonaire xxx

January 26th, 2012 at 12:01
Ann Dederer Says:

Thanks for your update! We are both thinking of you and wishing for all good results with the ipi. Thanks so much for keeping us updated so we can be there ‘virtually’.

My brother warned me years ago about buying a car. When you find one that interests you, go to the Kelly book and see what the original dealer cost was and what the current used value is. He recommended the Kelly ratings over the Blue book. Then, wear them down! Everyone seems to say cars lose 25% value new the minute they’re off the lot, so it should be less than that even if it’s pretty new – but I may be off. And, if it needs some repairs – negotiate on those!

Hugs and love,

Ann and Bill

January 26th, 2012 at 12:11
Kathleen Dewhurst Says:

Thanks for keeping in touch…i’llhave some smiles during today thinking of your positiveness. Hi to your family…love from San Diego

January 26th, 2012 at 12:29
Jamie Says:

Fabulous that you’ve gotten started! Good luck and here’s to no unwanted side effects!

January 26th, 2012 at 12:52
Mercy Says:

In my thoughts as always Jake and fam. I live in SD too, so more love from the beach!

January 26th, 2012 at 14:24
Aida Says:

I hope this one works for you. I’ve been keeping up on your posts and always have you in my thoughts, hoping for a good outcome.

Regarding buying a used car – be sure and buy it in Mass, not in NH, because Mass has a good “lemon law” for used cars. I think it may be the only state that has this type of law, so take advantage of the protection.

January 26th, 2012 at 15:04
Anne Lambert Says:

Glad to hear of the positive start in this infusion process. RE: buying a used car–I have bought 2 used cars from Starkey Ford in York, Maine, with excellent service and results, they sell cars other than Fords, have a web site though not all used cars on on the website, ph–1-877-395-FORD. Feel free to call me with questions, who to deal with. h 617-288-5456, w 617-573-2120. Jean S went with me when I bought the last car and was also impressed.

January 26th, 2012 at 16:26
Mike Says:

Hi Brother, wir halten Dir alle hier die Daumen und hoffen bald auf positive Nachrichten! Halt durch, wir lieben Dich. PS: Kauf ein deutsches Auto, die sind gut ;-)

January 27th, 2012 at 15:21
Laura Says:

Hey kiddo — long-time no talk. I came across your blog quite by accident (sorry — way out of touch, I know) and so here’s me now vibing you with my most heartfelt “kick its butt” energy. Hugs to Linda and hope you’ll drop me a line in your copious spare time:/


January 27th, 2012 at 19:35
Laura Says:

…in my anxiousness to wish you well I hit submit too early (some things never change)…at any rate, healing oneself requires full-time focus and that’s where your energy should be directed. But if Linda or you reach out, I’ll be here.

January 28th, 2012 at 22:05
Jessica Says:

Sounds good, Jake. Happy to have you moving forward. Always forward, right? Hugs & kisses to everyone. Jessica

January 30th, 2012 at 15:41
Rolf Says:

So glad the kick ass drug treatment has begun. We will miss you by a week if you dont hit Bonaire when originally scheduled in March, but your treatment and results are obviously paramount, Jake. Still mucho prayers, buddy…