Posted by Perrin Derrick On December 17, 2014
Kendra and I just made it in from round 5 of chemotherapy. We had a good time in Houston considering the cancer and chemotherapy gig. In this video I outline some of the things going on between round 4 and round 5.
Thanks again for all the prayers and support,
Posted by Perrin Derrick On December 17, 2014
I wrapped up chemo round 5 today at MD Anderson.
On the way to pickup the family I stopped in for a naughty snack at Chick-fil-A. The sweet lady who handed me my order asked how I was doing at the hospital. I quickly noticed I was still sporting my plastic arm band. I’m guessing the chrome dome was another dead giveaway.
She wanted to know what I have and let me know her 10 year old son also has cancer. Not 10 minutes drive down the road this lady’s son was sitting in Texas Children’s Hospital fighting off leukemia. He has has it for 3 years. I didn’t know what to say. I have been fighting for 3 months and unless something strange pops up it looks like I’m in the clear for a while. I didn’t know if I should hug this stranger, cry, or run out the door. We traded names for prayer list and parted ways. For some reason the day I complete a chemotherapy round is always an emotional one. Patrick’s story got to me today.
So today I add 10 year old Patrick to the prayer list. He is up there with old buddy Andy Peal who is getting setup for head surgery in January.
Posted by Perrin Derrick On December 15, 2014
My little Sophie is getting big. She started walking this week.
We are just about done with chemotherapy round 5. Even though we have excellent child care available we are thankful we have the opportunity to have our little ones with us. Sure they can be a pain in the rear but they bring so much more joy into our world.
This morning Grason and I did some home school work before little monster Ben Ben woke up.
After breakfast the boys and I snuck out of the house and ran up to the donut shop on our bikes. Mama and Sophie took advantage of a quiet house and rested.
The boys took some time and figured out the gears on the bikes.
Benjamin has a style all his own.
So life on Chemotherapy sucks, but life one chemotherapy with loved ones around makes it all better. I get a constant reminder why I’m putting myself through this.
Now that my girl is walking I need to do everything in my power to be there when she is ready to walk down the isle. And a note to the guy at the end of the isle… If I’m not around there will be folks like Jeff Durrwachter and Kevin Hill that will put the hurt on you if you care to screw up.
We’ll back to work for now. I’m completing a big law firm video project today. Tonight after my chemotherapy disconnect I get a bag of Cyclophosphamide and hate life for 36 hours. Good news is the break before round 5 and 6 will be 5 days longer. I always start to feel really good 2 days before the next round. Looks like I will get a week of “really good” this break.
Posted by Perrin Derrick On December 8, 2014
It’s coffee, it’s swiss water decaffeinated and it’s on trial around here.
When you limit yourself to 8 to 16 ounces of coffee per day you get selective of how good taste. It’s like beer, the less you drink, the more you are willing to spend per ounce.
We will let you know how good it is.
About to areopress some coffee now.
Posted by Perrin Derrick On December 5, 2014
Quick answer – I will be back to complete my last 2 rounds of chemotherapy starting next week
This week Kendra and I have been on a fact finding mission. We are trying to find out what is best for our family. I tracked down some of the best natural / holistic / unorthodox cancer fighting docs I had access to. These are amazingly bright and gifted doctors. I was surprised at what they had to say.
When I was first diagnosed and fast tracked through the back halls of MD Anderson I felt rushed and pushed and at times like I was being kicked into something I didn’t have time to think about. I know the big pharmaceutical business plan and it was hard to not see it around ever corner. When insurance has a hick-up and you find yourself faced with over rides, extensions, and swiping cards to pay out of pocket expenses the Big Pharma machine looks evil. At that time a lot of folks were praying for healing and I also reached out for prayers that my medical team would have the knowledge and the care to direct me properly. There have been some hurdles along the way. Twice the hospital missed giving me the right medication at the right time. There was also the morning I woke up laying in chemotherapy. That was not a cool morning, trust me you want the chemo in you and not on you.
So there I sat jumping into chemotherapy when everything I was reading told me to stay the hell away from the drug. Things changed a bit when the clinic PA walked in and explained Lymphoma to us. She saw there is some cancer in my family tree and informed us this cancer is not like any of those. She said the tumor is not like a regular cancer tumor. We went over all the nasty side effects and started running the EPOCH-R chemotherapy protocol.
After 3 runs of chemo I had a PET scan come back clean. Great, right? Not really. The doctor came back with upping my dose and wanting to hurt me even more. I was not a happy camper and had to question what he was doing. Dr’s don’t typically like that. We ran round 4 and came up with a plan to visit other doctors for 2nd opinions. Wednesday we were in Austin and Thursday Houston. Both alternative approach doctors sat down and explained things better than my MDA doctor had done.
The information given to me was not the information I wanted to hear. I wanted a maverick to set up and say “I have seen this before. Your chemotherapy is killing you. Please stop it now. Here is plan ‘B’ and plan ‘B’ is very successful”
Not even the doctor who was put on trial by the FDA want me to vary from my chemotherapy regiment. His oncologist was surprised at the cocktail. He was also happy with the results. It seems like the prayers for guidance have been working.
I’m where I need to be and will be continuing on with upping my chemotherapy starting next Thursday. I’m not happy about it and someone might have to handcuff and drag me into MD Anderson next week, but I now know that is where I need to be.
This concludes my loose ramble about this weeks road trip. Later I will break down each doctors visit and the information I was able to gain. My Austin doctor has some very positive diet and supplement directives that will help this next round of chemotherapy. I will post on that soon.
Thanks for the prayers and the continued support.
Posted by Perrin Derrick On December 4, 2014
Today was great. I will elaborate more later but just wanted to let everyone know we are talking with doctors this week and coming up with cancer action plans.
I didn’t hear what I wanted to hear today, but I did hear what I needed to hear today.
I’m going to get some real world work done and should have a video for you on Thursday.
Take care now
Posted by Perrin Derrick On December 2, 2014
So sweets are a problem…. a seriously huge problem. Plain sugar, sugar substitutes or anything that has a huge glycemic index will cause you problems. So choose your poision in the form of sugar or sugar substitute, they will kill you.
There off my soap box now.
This week’s forecast is set for travel with a chance for answers:
Tuesday – We drop off our little crew with family in Port Lavaca. They are amazing and the kiddos love it there. So thankful we have them in our life and our kids are so loved by so many.
Wednesday – Austin, Texas is the home of N4H Research. Glen R. Luepnitz, Ph.D. is the man with the plan. He holds a doctorate in Nutritional Counseling and that is really cool. I’m going in to pick his brain on nutritional oncology. That would be the type of oncology that does not involve chemotherapy.
Thursday – The Burzynski Clinic in Houston, Texas will be our destination. Stanislaw R. Burzynski, M.D., Ph.D. is a cancer mad man. This is a good thing. 10 years before I was born he identified naturally occurring peptides in the human body which he concluded control cancer growth. He found that there is a marked deficiency of these peptides in cancer patients. My M.D. Anderson oncologist doesn’t care what causes cancer and only has one way to fix it…. Chemotherapy.
Friday – Well that is up in the air. We are hoping to get into Dr Hammond’s office in Dallas. He reads the RGCC Blood test and dissects what works best in the body. I had blood sent to Greece in September and it was tested against a board of chemos and natural substances that kill the cancer in my body.
I’m really looking forward to getting into Hammond’s office. His office has real promise in my world.
We will keep you posted on what is going on this week and how the travels are going.
Posted by Perrin Derrick On November 25, 2014
Tuesday November 25th, 2014. This starts the 6th day of my 5 day Chemotherapy run. Read more on the delay of game in yesterdays fun filled post “The Big Spill”
It is cold this morning and I’m finding it very easy to find negativity in this huge revolving cancer door. Each time I hear a cough or see someone wipe their nose I cringe on the inside. I try to pour myself a fresh cup of water and I get this:
After staring at my Styrofoam cup of mineral water I was jolted into happiness by the bald lady wishing everyone a good-morning and calling everyone beautiful. I’m not sure if they hand out camper of the day here at MD Anderson, but if they do this lady has it in the bad and its not even 8a.m. So shifting gears and trying to be positive I pour out the mineral water and continue my quest for numbers when it comes to the drugs I’m taking. I have completed all but my last drug for this weeks run of chemotherapy. Today all I get is Cyclophosphamide. One hour of Cyclophosphamide is what is between me and being done with round 4 of chemotherapy. The quest for numbers is what determines if I’m back for rounds 5 and 6.
So here are some of the things I’m collecting. No pen and paper today so the rest of this blog post will be my note pad:
Chemotherapy is not just a single drug. For most cancer treatments there is only one type of chemotherapy given. My doctor chose a chemotherapy cocktail to given to a small population of cancer people.
This year I’m one in 70,800 people diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
We take this and then knock it down to 1 out of every 3 have Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma. That puts me into one out of 23,600 this year.
Depending on how test results come back doctors prescribe 3 main protocols:
CHOP is the old school protocol. R-Chop has been used for 20 years. EPOCH+R is the new kid on the block. The EPOCH+R is an aggressive protocol that I had to test into. My age, heath status, & electrocardiogram were all factors on what cocktail was hoked up to my IV. So I’m looking and looking for numbers of patients who fit my demographic and my drug class. I really don’t know how many of the 23,600 folks are fit enough to take the high dose super regiment of chemotherapy. I found out my dosage is 2x the normal dosing from what they ran in drug trials. This makes it hard to make a judgement on long term side effects. There are not enough years and enough data at my toxic concentrations to make a great decision now.
I challenge anyone reading this to help in finding any information in the positive or negative on long term effects of EPOCH+R.
Comment below or send email directly to email@example.com. I have 15 days to make a decision on what to do about chemotherapy.
Posted by Perrin Derrick On November 24, 2014
“Hey honey, hey, hey” I say to Kendra as I try to gently wake her up on what is setup to be a very crappy Monday. “Please don’t roll over, don’t lay in this” I’m trying to be gentle by alerting Kendra that there is a pool of chemotherapy in our bed. This is not a pool she wants to go swimming in.
October 2014 – My first chemo outpatient experience came with a chemotherapy spill kit. That was right before Halloween and there was a lot of joking about me wearing it as a costume. Its a full blue gown with face mask and 2 sets of gloves. We passed due to the Ebola scare and the fact we might need it one day. Today is the day.
When I was getting my first bag exchange on round 2 the nurse jumped my ass saying
Don’t pull to hard, we want the chemotherapy in you and not on you. That would be a very bad thing to happen!
Now Time 2014 – All joking aside Its Monday morning and I have been laying in chemo for over 2 hours. We scramble to crack open the Halloween chemo spill kit and find out what can be done to stop today. We looked long and hard for the mini time machine but neither one of us found it. That is really what we need right now is a time machine so we could step back and stop the spill before it starts. Damn, no time machine. Next step, read the instructions and find out what we have gotten our-self into. In the chemo spill kit there were bags for the bags that your contaminated gear goes in. Those two bags fit into another large bag. The large bag is yellow and has scary looking logos on it. These are the type of bags that would be fun to fill with leaves and leave on your neighbors front porch for April Fools day. This is not a bag you want to fill up with your bedding and chemo pumps and head to the hospital with. This is a bag you want to burn in a bonfire.
I have ran these drugs for over 300 hours. Same bags, same drugs, same sleeping arrangement… Why did my system leak today?
So I head out to the hospital with my yellow Santa bag and am very surprised by my access to walking through the entire complex with a contaminated bag. They check me in, hand me my pager and let me sit in the main lobby for 30 minutes. Once the pager rings I’m escorted to a door I didn’t know existed. I’m placed in a room down the hall behind the door I didn’t know existed. I’m escorted to a room with a bed and a chair. I’m instructed to not sit on the bed.
So here I am sitting in the chemo-spill-chair waiting.
While I wait there is an 8 year old girl crying down the hall. She is hooked up and not happy. Well little girl I’m about to be hooked back up and not happy either. I say a little prayer for you and your family. It hurts like hell to see something like cancer happen to folks that are so young. I’m quickly reminded I have it a lot better than she does. Although this morning sucks ass I’m going back to my beautiful family, home, and business in the next 48 hours. I have a clean pet scan and life is good. I have not seen a unicorn or a rainbow today but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to stop looking for them. God got me up early today for a reason. I’ve got to find out what I can do with this beautiful day.
So my nurse is at communication central talking to my doctor, a pharmacist, the nurse and the nurse’s nurse to see what we can do. Since the “time machine” and the “loss of chemo measurement device” were not present in the chemotherapy spill kit we don’t really know how much chemo was pumped into my bed and not me. So we will restart my chemotherapy bag soon and reset the time to when I found out it was leaking. I was scheduled to complete this round of chemotherapy at 11pm tonight. The post-spill schedule has me ending this bag at 6am in the morning and then taking an hour and a half break before I get my last 1 hour bag. This is bad, really really bad. This protocol runs for 101 hours beginning to end…. but not this time. with my 2 breaks we are looking at a 109 hour run with breaks of potency. The concept here was to run a high potency for a length of time so it kills cells over that length of time without wavering. Solid poison over a solid amount of time and not ups and downs. That is what I signed up for but will not be getting. Side note: the chemo left in the bags will need to be tossed out. That is over $800 of drugs down the drain due to a faulty $3 rubber tube connector.
So Thanksgiving week is off to a rough start. By the end of the week I will celebrate my 37th birthday and follow up the next day by videotaping a beautiful wedding. Things are looking to get better and better. Hell they have to after a morning like this. As I complete this post I’m laughing at the situation. It was laugh or cry and laughing just felt better.
Take care, & thanks for your prayers
Posted by Perrin Derrick On November 23, 2014
I’m sitting here getting a new bag and trying to figure out some research on my chemotherapy protocol.
It all seems to be uncharted territory. The protocol has only been used for 7 years so we don’t have a lot of information about long term issues that typically pop up with other chemotherapy drugs.