Hi! Well, I finally received confirmation from Dr. Richards' office in Chicago that I will be starting the antiCTLA-4 clinical trial this coming Friday. My understanding of how the trial drug, which is called ipilimumab (try saying that three times fast), works is still quite limited. All I have been told is that the first infusion will take approximately 90 minutes and should have limited side effects. In fact, the chemo nurse who called to set up the appointment said I could bring lunch and eat during the infusion. I'll believe that when I actually do it! Subsequent infusions are, I believe, every three weeks for only sixty minutes.
I don't think I'll need any help getting to and from this first appointment. Kelly happens to have an open calendar Friday, and my appointment is at 11:00, which gives us plenty of time to get the kids off to school before we leave. I may be contacting a few of you to see if you're able to keep an eye on Regan and Jack after school until we get back from Chicago. Thank you to everybody who responded to volunteer to help me with these trips to Chicago. I have taken your names and may be contacting you to take you up on your offers when I go down for future infusions.
I also want to extend a big thanks to our wonderful friends and neighbors who have helped keep our driveway clean of snow and ice following a couple of messy six-inchers in the last week. I don't know how we got so lucky to live near so many great people!
In other news, we decorated our Christmas tree this past Sunday night. My dad put it up for us when he and my mom were here last week. The kids had a good time. Normally it's my job to hang the lights, but I didn't think I should be walking around and around a Christmas tree dragging long strands of electrical wires behind me and my cane. Aubrey did the job instead and the results are fantastic. Now we've got lights twinkling on the tree, Christmas music on the radio, kids outside sledding in the snow; it's definitely feeling like the holidays. If I remember, I'll take a picture of the kids around the tree and post it on the next blog.