05/15/14

The Master Gland

Wow, will you check out the Support Page and see all the great events that have been happening in honor of Sherri and the ongoing battle against this vexing problem we have among us? Great to see lots of family and friends and friendly families out at the latest event on Sunday! Music is being made, miles are being logged, money is being raised,  strength is being conveyed, and our minds are being boggled.

You’ll see in these events plenty of music and sporting activities. Music has been an important part of Sherri’s life, and it’s extremely meaningful and gratifying to have such talent in our midst. She loves the sports events where she knows the players, and revels in their accomplishments. Sherri might be out there on the athletic field except that she has been banned for steroid use.

There are mitigating circumstances for the steroids… She put her trust in the right people, ate tainted cheese steaks, whatever… Just trying to get an edge on the competition. Who can blame her? The point is, you gotta do what you gotta do, then explain it to your adoring public.

So here’s the explanation. Over the past couple of weeks, Sherri had a headache that wouldn’t quit. Its been one of those deals that many of us only rarely if ever experience, where you just try not to walk into a closed door while you circumnavigate the house. Ever had one of those? We hope not, but either way just sayin’ they get old after a few days. At first her headaches seemed like a return to a “normal” state where she’s endured periodic migraines over the years. Interestingly, and thankfully, Sherri’s migraines seemed to have subsided while she was on ┬áchemotherapy; but they started to come back recently. There are certain side effects that occasionally occur with immunotherapy, like swelling of the pituitary gland, that can cause headaches. Wouldn’t you know it… An MRI just showed swelling of the pituitary, which on Tuesday won her a most-expenses-paid-by-insurance trip to the overnight ward at Fox Chase for a 24-hour steroid IV. Apparently when the pituitary gland presses on your brain, it hurts. I thought that gland just helped you spit out your toothpaste. Pitui. But apparently it’s the master mind of pretty much everything your body needs to be a stable biological system.

What we know about the situation at the moment is that it’s not unprecedented. Sherri may be able to remain on the immunotherapy trial if she chooses, but without the Ipilimumab antibody, which is the suspect for the pituitary problems. We’ve entered the “maintenance” mode of the immunotherapy treatment, so she’ll likely be getting a checkup every 4 weeks and a scan and vaccine every 8 weeks (next one in June) if everything remains stable. The pituitary thing might set us off schedule a couple of weeks though.

While we wait and see, please enjoy knowing that all your good work of advocacy, friendship, and participation are muchly appreciated!