Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Oregon Trail

Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of changes. First, I have been on 800 mg of Gleevec instead of 400mg. This is to examine whether an increase in the dosage will help push my PCR level down. If not, it might suggest that I have become resistant to Gleevec and may need to try another medication. I go back to Dana-Farber next week for blood work and a bone marrow biopsy.

I have been having weekly blood tests on the 800 mg to look at my blood in general. Specifically, the fear is that too much of the Gleevec can make my white and red blood counts drop too much which is not safe either. So far, they have dropped a little below the normal range, but not enough to concern my oncologist. I had more blood drawn this morning so we shall see what happens.

In the meantime, I have decided to visit Dr. Druker at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. Dr. Druker is known as the preeminent CML doctor and helped develop the medication I am currently taking. Following the advise of some fellow CML buddies (Annie (Stephen's mom) and Lori (my fellow RI CMLer)), I will see Dr. Druker on November 15, 2007. My wife and my parents will be joining me for a trip to Oregon. I am hoping this consultation can assuage some of the fears with the recent non-responsiveness to the medication. If I need to make a change, he can help with this decision as well. For those who have met with him, they have said that this is a great experience.

In the scientific community, my experience has been that the more well-known a researcher is, the poorer their clinical skills tend to be. This is particularly true in their interactions with patients. I may be too aware of bedside manner since I teach this at Brown Medical School. From what I can gather, Dr. Druker is able to balance these skills well. I am looking forward to meeting with him.

In other news, our Light the Night Campaign is in full swing. Although we are a little later in getting started, the donations are starting to come in. So far we have raised $4411. If you would like to walk with Team Gershon or make a donation, please visit my Light the Night page. If you want to register to walk, you click the button on the top left. The event is scheduled for September 29th in Providence.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck John from across the seas in England where my son is recovering from a stem cell transplant that will hopefully give him life after leukaemia. Stay strong and be aware that other people are thinking of you and sending you positive thoughts and best wishes. The fund raising and awareness raising efforts are awesome. Power to your elbow!!
Love and light ( a sign off I have learned from an Americam cml Mum !)
Kay Sudbury