Friday, June 08, 2012

Portland in the Spring

I recently returned from my annual visit to Portland to visit with Dr. Druker and Carolyn Blasdel. I had gone out by myself this year as schedules did not work out well for an extended visit. I was fortunate to find that JetBlue was now flying directly from Boston to Portland. The only downfall is that the only return flight they had was a red eye. Needless to say, I was pretty tired upon my return.

My visit was a little different than in past years. The clinic was much busier than I had ever seen it and I was put in a different room. This did not bother me too much. My meetings with the medical team were both excellent as usual. I never felt rushed and could ask as many questions as I wanted. This year, Dr. Druker had an oncologist from another country shadowing him.

We talked about dropping my Gleevec down a bit since I have remained undetectable based on my tests at Dana-Farber. My tests through Molecular MD have always found trace amounts of cells, but it is an extremely sensitive test. This time, my labs were accidentally run at the OHSU laboratory instead. They rated their lab as somewhere in the middle between Dana-Farber and Molecular MD in terms of sensitivity so I was not sure where it would end up. I received my results this week and the OHSU lab also came back as undetectable. Good news again!

We decided to lower my dosage to 500 mg from 600 mg and then check my Gleevec level next year when I go out for my visit. I was comfortable with this move.

On a more fun note, I took a very cool tour of Portland's food carts while I was there. In Portland, they have over 400 of these carts, most of them in permanent pods throughout the city. When I have visited in the past, it has always been hard to decide which one to choose. This tour allowed me to sample many. I would highly recommend it if you are visiting Portland. Here are some pictures.