07/29/2015: Back to MD Anderson – First Treatment

12:00:  On the road again back to Houston, TX for MD Anderson.  First stop will be though, Blue Bayou exit to pick up my sister!

12:30: Leaving the house again. Forgot my numbing cream for my port access, so turned around and picked that up.

01:30: We pick up ny sister from her house near Blue Bayou near Baton Rouge, and I take over driving.

05:45: We arrive at MD Anderson.

06:07: I sign in at Lab to have my blood drawn for my scheduled tests today.

06:10: Waiting…

06:25: The nurse takes me to the back.

06:34: All done 4 tubes of blood taken.

06:35: Off to the Lymphoma and Myeloma Center, Elevator B, Floor 6…

06:40: At the center, no one here, and lights are still off, so, waiting….

07:00: The lights come on, oh boy.

07:10: I check in.

07:20: Waiting….



07:40: The nurse comes and gets me and takes my vitals.

07:50: I am back in the waiting room.

08:30: I am called to the back. The nurse talks to me.

08:40: The PA comes and talks to me.

09:00: The doctor comes and talks to me.

09:15: Emily, the research nurse comes and talks to me. We go over results with showing hyperthyroidism and preexistance of gout. All pills to adjust all that. The doctor and she says that the thyroid problem is most likely related to past chemo. She goes over a number of things and shows me a packet she has for me that I need to bring everytime and start filling out today and daily. There is a questionnaire that I need to bring back today, and other questions to be repeated at certain intervals during the trial to evaluate how I am responding to the drug not only cancer wise but physical wise. She will call my local CVS pharmacy amd get my medications ordered there. She sends me on my way. She will order the test drug and get the doctor to sign off on it so I can get it today. In the meantime time time to head to the Infusion Therapy for them to access and document my port so that it can be used here at MD Anderson, so there we head.

09:45: I check in at Infusion Therapy, I then ask them to hold off taking me until the numbing cream has taken affect, the nurse there said that is fine, for me just to let her know when I am ready, so I go to the bathroom and apply the numbing cream along with the saran wrap. In the meantime I fill out my questionnaire for today that Emily gave me. My dad and I then go.back to the third floor and turn in the questionnaire. We then walk around the building checking out all of the elevators and locations.

10:30: We come back to the Infusion Therapy and I tell the nurse that I am ready. She tells me she will let them know.

10:45: They call me to the back. The nurse asks to see my port card. I give her the packet and she finds the card and obtains the information she needs from it. She then feels my port and then accesses my port. She flushes it and gets a blood return with no problems. She then drips some saline into it with no problems either. She says everything is good to go and she puts the protective clear plastic over the needle in the poet to hold it in place. All done she says.

11:05: We head downstairs to MD Anderson Cafe. I get a cheeseburger.

11:55: I check in at the clinical and translational research center for my bloodwork for the trials and my trial drug.

12:15: Sitting here waiting, just updating the blog from my phone.

13:30: They call me in the back.  They take my stats again.  Then they send me to room 7.  I sit in the bed and make myself comfortable.

13:50:  The nurse tells me the procedure.  They will draw my blood through my port accessed.  They are currently waiting for the drug to be retrieved from investigational therapy, then send upstairs to pharmacy, then mixed up and sent down to me.

14:00: They want my oxygen after some exertion so they make me walk around the hall for one lap, then take my oxygen level, it is 100%

14:10: Just waiting…




14:30: The vampire comes in and takes 11 tubes of blood from me.

14:40: The nivolumab is hung and administered through my port, just like my past chemos.

15:40: My infusion is done.  I am deaccessed and sent on my way.

16:00: We head to Cafe Anderson and grab a few things for the road.

16:30: On the road heading back home.

19:00: I start with upper and lower back pain while on the trip home.

19:30: The pain is getting worse and worse.

20:00: The pain now includes my abdomen.

22:00: We drop off my sister.  I take a Zofran.

22:30: The pain in my back is subsiding.

23:00: I am still in pretty bad pain in my abdomen.

23:59: I take an Oxycodone, still in pain.

© Craig