Tuesday, 28 January 2014

tests, tests and more tests...

After having his "baseline" scan last Friday, we were back in hospital again today for Steve to be tested to make sure he's fit enough to start the VanSel1 drug trial next week.  

It's a very thorough procedure, partly to make sure he meets the trial eligibility criteria and partly to have a baseline against which any changes to his body arising from the drugs or their side effects can be measured.  

So - what was involved?
  • Physical examination, including height and weight measurements
  • Vital signs (blood pressure, pulse rate and temperature)
  • Blood tests 
  • Urine tests
  • ECG  (heart trace - three tracings over 5-10 minutes)
  • Echocardiogram (a bit like an ultrasound scan, with jelly on the chest )
  • Eye test - to rule out any eye conditions that might be made worse taking the study treatment
The echocardiogram was carried out at a different Oxford hospital and the eye test by a local optician, but luckily we had time to go home for lunch in between.  While we were at home, Julianna the trial nurse phoned to say that Steve's potassium levels were spot on.  No need to go back to the Cancer Centre for a top up, which would have been necessary had they been too low for the trial.  Eating all those bananas has clearly paid off!

The tests themselves were relatively straightforward.  It was only the very thorough eye tests, which involved dilating the pupils, which caused any problems.  Even though it was cloudy, the brightness on going outside after the test hurt Steve's eyes.  But he was back to normal by the time we arrived home....Must remember to take sunglasses or a baseball cap next time to shade his eyes! 

Only when they check the results of all these tests will we know if Steve can take part in the trial. 

Now we wait....

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