Sunday 16 March 2014

VanSel Early Phase drug trial - Day 42 and the end of cycle 1

One more dose of selumetanib tonight and Steve will have completed the 42 day long first cycle of the VanSel 1 drug trial!  

He's had side effects as you will know if you have read earlier blogs - stomach cramps; extra visits to the loo; some loss of appetite; a very bad skin rash which is now more under control.  Those are the obvious symptoms.

Less obvious, but potentially more serious, is the effect of the drugs on his heart rhythm, which is probably the underlying cause of him feeling not quite right without being able to identify the reason for feeling this way.  This resulted in a week's break from treatment and re-starting with a lower dose of vandetanib.

We will soon find out whether this dose reduction has been enough for him to maintain a "QT interval" in his heart rhythm which is within the drug trial protocol. 

In between the regulated eating and fasting times imposed by the drug trial we have made some progress on the home, garden and garage front: clearing out cupboards and cabinets as part of the preparation for a bathroom refurb; emptying the dilapidated garden shed to see what we still need and what can be recycled or passed on.  

We've also made a start on the daunting task of going through items stored in a garage we rent a few streets away, which has been flooded twice since the start of 2014. Everything stored at ground or low level remains damp and sodden, so the bags of books, toys, games and clothes which were waiting to be taken to a charity shop have ended up being recycled instead because of the health risk of being immersed in contaminated water.  

That job will keep us occupied for the next month or so, shifting a car boot full of items every couple of days in between hospital visits.  Always assuming of course, that Steve is able to continue on the VanSel Trial. We'll find out the answer to that tomorrow, with the start of Cycle 2, we hope....

At least we have been able to enjoy some blue skies and sunshine this last week.  Seeing the spring flowers blooming, green shoots appearing and butterflies flitting about lifts the spirits no end!  

Happy St Patrick's Day to all our friends in Ireland.  We'll raise a glass of the black stuff tomorrow night to mark the occasion and hopefully celebrate the start of Cycle 2 on the VanSel 1 drug trial.

If you live in Leeds, Cardiff or London please try to get to one of the Department of Health's consultation events for the Saatchi - Medical Innovation - Bill.  Follow this link to find out more.  

The other big news item for severely ill people is the "Early Access to Medicines" scheme which is to be launched in April. You can read more about it by clicking HERE.  The Department of Heath's explanation is below:  

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