Well, I've been busy since the last posting. My computer is now fixed (fingers crossed that it stays that way). We've completed the first 3 treatments on the clinical trial and I've not had significant side effects to date. However, last week we ran head-on into one of the "things one signs on for" in agreeing to a clinical trial.
Every clinical trial should include a contract, of sorts, between the trial and the patient. I signed one which outlined the side effects, documented the intent of the trial, and specifically stated what responsibilities I have as a participant.
Wednesday afternoon, in the midst of terrible storms and changeable weather, I had a terrible migraine. Later in the evening I developed a fever of 101.2 degrees. I thought to consult the document I'd signed and, lo and behold, I was to call in and report to the Cleveland Clinic for further information, if I had a fever over 100.5 degrees. The oncology fellow on call directed me to go to an emergency room, so off we went to OSU ER, at about 11:30 p.m. After consulting with the Cleveland Clinic, the ER docs bundled me off to the James for admittance, where I landed about 3:30 a.m. At Cleveland Clinic's direction I was placed on an IV course of antibiotics and settled in for the results of blood cultures.
By the time I was in the James, my fever had gone, but we had to wait for 24 hours for the results to come back. I was finally released after observation and constant dosing on antibiotics on Friday afternoon. I now have 4 new antibiotics on my drug sensitivity list, woo-hoo!! Basically they could find nothing wrong with me (I'd suspected that all along, since I have a history of reacting badly to weather changes).
On Sunday I went off for a haircut and lunch with friends. Later that evening I got violently sick to my stomach; I offer no details but it was distressing and unpleasant. I had no temperature and was finally able to sleep once the vomiting was over. The patient contract said to call in if more than one episode of vomiting occurred during a day; I figured it was essentially one long episode and decided I wasn't reporting in.
On Monday morning I called in to Nurse Vicki, told her that I'd had vomiting the day before and was feeling okay but didn't really want to make the trip up that day; would that invalidate my trial participation? She said, "I'll just note this as a deviation, that you didn't come in for your appointment, and I'll see you on Friday for the screening tests."
So now, I'm a deviation from the standard protocol. I'm glad that I didn't get bounced off the trial for missing my last appointment of the cycle, and I'm glad I don't have to make the weekly trek anymore. Let's just hope that the screening tests go well on Friday so I can start treatments again next week.
Labels: appointment results, clinical trial, hospitalization, life in general, side effects