Hello Friends! We’ve been beating a path to south Philadelphia to participate in the CAR T-cell trial at UPenn. Schedules were tight as we’ve tried to keep up the routine around 3 or 4 trips each week. Despite the lack of recent updates, though, be assured that no news is good news in this case! Let’s rewind.

Sherri’s T-cells behaved themselves, reproducing as all good cells should. They received their CAR mods, and the new little T-bird hot-rods were ready to rock and roll for 9 infusions that started on Sep 8 and concluded today, Sep 26. In another moment of synchronicity, the last CAR infusion was given by nurse Portia (there is no substitute…) Sherri has now gotten back her cells, with interest: 4.6 billion of them, 516 million at a time. Each treatment involved about 6 hours elapsed time, including travel, prep, infusion, and monitoring. Actual infusion time? About 2 minutes per dose…

Sherri has been feeling a little fatigued after each treatment, but her energy started to ramp back up just recently. She felt a strange taste sensation and had an aura of creamed corn and garlic about her right after infusion, due to the cell carrier concoction. Nevertheless, all signs are good at this point; no adverse side-effects are surfacing. Too soon to tell what’s happening under the hood, but next week we should start to find out with a series of follow-up checks; a biopsy, physicals, and scans recurring into early November. No telling what our next steps will be after that. It all depends on what shows up, and more importantly, what doesn’t show up.

This has been a good experience, all things considered. It’s another nice relief from the chemo. UPenn Hospital has their act together and the research and clinical staff have all been top notch. Sherri says she still feels that this is the right thing to be doing. She’s a true scientist immersed in science, and a true spirit immersed in life!

Thanks truly for your continued support as well. Sherri’s remarkable appearance and calm demeanor in the face of all the turmoil are underpinned by her awesome people network. You are the bucket seats with leather upholstery, keeping us comfortable and secure on our journey. You even clean up nicely when we spill stuff on you.