14/03/17: immunotherapy update

ITT: 06-03-17

The sixth of March was a wet day in the city and marked a new chapter in Brendan and our family’s cancer story.

We got to The Kinghorn Cancer Centre early on the morning of treatment, so walked up Victoria St a little way before it started, until we found a shoe box sized cafe where we ate a quick breakfast. Bren was in pain every step of the way, but he didn’t complain.


On returning to the cancer centre and settling into his chair, the first lot of medicine was pushed into his arm. He looked at me and said…”here we go.” It was scary.

I don’t think I realised just how hard it would be for Bren as the infusion began, because right up to that moment I’d been too busy doing: packing, sorting out kids, dog, house, accommodation, driving and fussing to allow myself a moment to really think about what he might be going through as his latest chance to beat cancer began.

I can’t imagine how he felt, as he dealt with the absurdity of having to think about what the treatment side effects might be and possible complications from those, and how in some rare circumstance they can be fatal, to save him from a disease that kills people.

Who has to think about that stuff? Cancer patients, that’s who!

Which I guess is why the Professor was surprised when Bren asked him the week before, if they were to trade places would he sign the consent form (it lists possible side effects, over two drugs it’s a fairly long list) to take part in the trial. The professor thought on it and answered briefly, not saying yes or no, before examining Bren, after which he smiled at him and said “I have consulted 100’s of patients and no one has ever asked me that!” He then went on to talk about what was to happen next.

There have been no obvious side effects that can be attributed entirely to this round of treatment. That’s a relief.

Pain is still an issue, and the balancing act between strong pain medication, the right doses and then taking something for their side effects, to help with the cancer pain is challenging.

I feel helpless watching Bren deal with his pain that at its best is extremely uncomfortable and at worst excruciating. I don’t know how he copes with it some days. He just does. We are hoping as he progresses through the trial, the new treatment will lesson the pain or stop it all together. We have every reason to think it will.

We also understand that this is  a trial. We haven’t seen or been given any statistics to pin anything on. Very few people to our knowledge have received these drugs in this combination, with Brendan’s type of cancer. Bren’s results rest on a wing and a prayer, the outcome unknown – success not promised but possible. The cancer waiting game continues.

Just over a week into the treatment and I would have to say it hasn’t been a whole lot of fun in our house. Thanks to their awesome aunty, uncle and cousins Tyz & Bades will get a break from that on the weekend has they head off for a fun filled extended weekend getaway. They deserve a bit of a break and we are excited for them. A huge thank you to our family xx

Bren and I head back down to The Kinghorn Cancer Centre for a follow up consult on the 20th of March to see how things are going…fingers crossed we see lots of positive progress.

I will keep you posted xx

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Pam Squires says:

    I don’t know you personally but I know Brendan’s parents and his sister (from St Clare’s Taree) All I can say is bless you both and may each day bring more hope – thinking and praying for all of you.
    Pam Squires

    Liked by 1 person

    1. calliemm says:

      thank you Pam, your kind thoughts are very much appreciated.


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