Week 1 Update

Week 1 has been relatively uneventful. I entered the hospital on Thursday to hydrate overnight. You have to love those huge bags of H2O laced with salt. I was up every hour using the plastic urinals provided for collection. I also had to drink a lot. This continued through Sunday evening.

Friday, I was administered the first dose of ABT-199, two small bright yellow pills, 20mg total. Then came the five blood draws, one vial every two hours beginning at 12:00 Noon and ending at 8:00 PM. Fortunately, my port is not acting up and all of the infusions and draws were done through that device. One needle pain in place of multiples; I’ll take that any day.

Saturday began with a blood draw at 4:00 AM and vitals. If this draw showed good numbers, the dosage of ABT-199 would increase to 50mg. 7:20 AM came with a low-fat breakfast of oatmeal with raisins, cranberries, and brown sugar. I also had a low-fat banana-blueberry smoothie, a bowl of fresh fruit and coffee – all my choice from the regular menu. 8:00 saw an increase in dosage to the expected 50mg. Of course this necessitated the prerequisite five blood draws again. Hydration continued. Frequent runs to the bathroom continued.

This pattern was continued through Sunday and Monday. Lunches and dinners were from the fabulous (no, don’t laugh, it is fabulous) menu. The pizza doesn’t sound too great – gourmet through and through, no super supreme anything. Everything else sounds superb. The Asian cuisine is fantastic. The sandwich menu is great. (If you are ever here, try the Rubin.) Several fish/shrimp selections. Chicken. Beef. Two columns of beverage selections. Mexican. Desserts. (You have to try the bread pudding with vanilla sauce. Magnifique.) I suppose you get the idea. Are you drooling yet? Any of this can be ordered on demand. The phone is answered “Room Service”, not “kitchen”. About 45 minutes later a knock on the door is followed by “Room Service” and a server dressed in black and white with a bow tie enters and presents your meal. This is better service than I have seen in some rather pricy restaurants. (Not that I visit them often.) Yeh, I know; it’s tough being a patient in MD Anderson’s Cancer Center.

Discharge came after lunch on Monday. Now the meals, hydration, and pill taking are on my shoulders. I still have to go to the hospital every day for blood tests. Today, Wednesday, we will visit with Dr. Wierda and likely enter the hospital on Thursday for a dosage increase to 100mg on Friday with tentative release on Saturday.

Melanie is downstairs doing laundry. You know what I am doing. Everything looks good at this point. We are not expecting significant results until the dose hits 200mg, probably next Friday if everything goes as planned.

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