October 28, 2008
Perhaps we will remember this day as the first day of a new experimental treatment (pemetrexed) that will send Erin's neuroblastoma running for cover.
Clinic, in fact, ran as smoothly as it ever does. Only two bottlenecks today: the pharmacy didn't set speed records preparing the drug (though I have to admit things could have moved slower than they did) and Erin decided to do her best imitation of a salt-loving, overweight, stressed-out, middle-aged adult and let her blood pressure zoom up right at the end of the ten minute infusion. A variety of doctors, nurses, and techs had to wander over and render the opinion that it didn't seem to be much to worry about. We checked her vitals a few more times afterward and it headed down on its own. By the time we got back to Bryan (after a medicinal stop at Pauli's for pasta and The Children's Place for some new duds for the growing Erin) she recorded a more Erin-like blood pressure (105/72).
We'll check counts locally on Monday, run to Houston for an office visit a week from Thursday (11/6) and scan the following Thursday (11/13) to see what, if any, effect this drug will have on Erin's neuroblastoma.
The theory behind pemetrexed is sound. Pemetrexed blocks folates in cells. Folate is essential to cell growth and division. Erin has to take a vitamin with folic acid and have a B-12 shot (not a popular requirement for my middle school gal). She also has to take a three day cycle of dexamethasone (a steroid) to help with any skin rashes she might develop as a reaction to the drug.