The First Day of Treatment
I happened to glance at Shane's phone this evening. He was texting a close friend, Lund, about his day and said in part, "Hardest thing by far I've ever done." Shane slept about 4 hours our first night here and 2 hours last night, so he headed in to treatment with his gas tank on empty.
This first treatment began around 10 AM and finished by 1:30 PM. It involved two kinds of hyperthermia and high dose Vitamin C and alpha-lipoic acid IV infusion. The hyperthermia put him into a fever state--he poured sweat, and watched the clock count down the minutes, each one agonizingly slow. When he finally emerged from the clinic doors (we have to wait outside) he looked broken, battle weary and he was completely silent all the way back to our apartment. He climbed the stairs, rode the elevator, walked through the front door, and made a beeline for his bed. After a nap he was finally ready to tearily whisper the details of his ordeal.
And soon after he awoke, we received an email from the clinic telling us that Dr. Kleef wanted to change the treatment plan. Originally we planned to spend 4 weeks here in Budapest doing high dose Vitamin C, hyperthermia (fever therapy), low dose Interleukin 2 (another form of immunotherapy) and several other therapies. Instead, after seeing Shane's weakened state, Dr. Kleef suggested that we come to Vienna this week and begin the checkpoint inhibitors (the immunotherapy big guns). Not fun news for poor Shane to hear, but we plan to trot off to Vienna on Thursday afternoon and begin immunotherapy on Friday. Then we return to Budapest after 11 treatment days.
This prego lady is tapped out. More tomorrow.