Shades of Purple

This week marks the beginning of a new chapter in Sherri’s treatment, the suspension of chemotherapy and the first trial of immunotherapy. Didn’t quite start as planned, but came to the same conclusion a day later.

We dropped off the girls with friends and headed to my sister’s place in MD on Sunday night for our planned visit to Hopkins. Thanks y’all for integrating us foreigners with your families on a few school mornings. Despite being out of your normal routine, you made us all feel comfortable and welcome! Then we inched our way into downtown Baltimore for a biopsy on Monday morning. To make a long story short, they couldn’t find any liver tumors big enough to see on ultrasound so a dozen doctors, nurses, pathologists, and ultrasound techs twiddled away the morning with us. Any day you can avoid having someone stick a needle in your liver is a good day! The tumors apparently have continued to shrink substantially, and they didn’t need the biopsy to qualify for the study.

What they did need was blood parameters in range, and they didn’t get those either. Two pancreatic enzymes, amylase and lipase, were too high to qualify for the trial. So we had to scurry out to find a place to redo those two tests late Monday afternoon. When they got the results on Tuesday, both were back in range but it was too late to schedule the procedure so we stayed over and did it on Wednesday.

The clinical trial procedure involves 6 vaccine injections, plus an IV infusion of the antibody ipilimumab (see Ipi Ki-Yay). Apparently the reason purple is the official accessory color for pancreatic cancer is that they find many different ways to make parts of you turn purple. The vaccine treatments were fairly successful at that, and they warned us that a rash is one of the more certain side-effects. Nothing comes for free in this game! So far, though, most of the effects feel like anytime you get a fever due to your immune system fighting back!

Speaking of games, fights , and purple reminds me that the Bryn Athyn College men’s hockey team is hosting a Shooting for Sherri event at their home rink tonight at 8pm to continue to raise cancer awareness and express their support. Of course, the BAC hockey players are great sportsmen and would only ever fight for a good cause. Thanks men and fans – Rock the Purple!

6 thoughts on “Shades of Purple

  1. Wow what an adventure! Thinking of you, and know that nothing comes without costs, but hope the gain is sustained!
    The hockey team rocked and won 5-1! Great score for a great cause! Lots of love!

    Jane and Michael!

  2. Thanks for the update, and GO SHERRI! We continue to cheer and pray for you. Hope this new direction works really well for you.

  3. So glad to hear you have started this treatment at Johns Hopkins. Sending prayers that you continue to get positive results from it. Sending hugs your way.

  4. Blimey. You guys are putting up one heck of a fight. Way to go Sherri, Coopers, basketball team, hockey team, BAC, BA generally, Johns Hopkins, medical profession, etc. Keep up the good work! XXOOHH

  5. Thinking of you Sherri – hope that you are finding ways to deal with discomfort of this treatment, and hoping that the good results are kicking the (pancre)ass of the bad results!!

  6. Just caught up on the last few blog posts here. I’m thinking that concert last night might do as much as the ipi and everything else to improve Sherri’s quality of life. But of course I am joining the ranks of love in praying for good results in this clinical trial! You Coopers are super troopers! Tons o’ love. xox

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