Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Overview of My DCT


My hair is growing pretty quickly. I'm so grateful that I do not work so that I don't have to deal with the image issue! I can do a pretty sweet comb over - I need to take a picture of that (maybe later today). On to bigger news though.....I'm headed to GERMANY!

I don't even know where to begin....

Hope I can make sense of all this with my keys. My white blood cells are well above normal meaning that I am the perfect candidate to undergo dendritic cell therapy in Germany. I am waiting for an email from my NYC doctor with a few dates in January for me to pick from.

1. Two weeks before I leave for Germany I need to get my blood work done again to check for my white blood cell count, my kidney function, liver enzymes and electrolytes - stuff like that. I need to have that go well or I can not do the dendritic cell therapy. In which case I will still go, and take the opportunity to get some other alternative treatments like hypertherpia and such.

2. If I pass the blood work, I will head to Germany sometime in mid January.

3. Day 1 in Duderstadt I will have another blood test.

4. Day 2 I do a procedure called leukapheresis. It's a two hour procedure where they continuously draw my blood, removing the white blood cells and re-inject the blood back into my body.

5. From Day 3-6 I will get as may hyperthermia treatments as possible, as well as a treatment called newcastle virus shots.

6. Day 8 I will get my first dendtritic cell shot vaccine, then I can go home.

The trip will take a minimum of 8 days, but that's just the time in Germany. It, of course, will take some travel time to and from.

7. Four to six weeks after Germany I will fly to NYC to get my next shot. Over the next year I will fly to NYC five times to get more shots.

8. In 2014 I will fly to NYC for vaccines four times.

9. In 2015 I will fly to NYC for vaccines three times.

10. In 2016 I will fly to NYC for vaccines three times.

11. In 2017 I will fly to NYC for vaccines three times. At the end of that year, if there is still no tumor growth they will consider me "cancer free" and I will no longer need to do more shots!

In shots alone it will be around $100,000. You pay as you go, and the price is based on the Euro. I have no idea how much this is going to ultimately cost. I tried doing supplements, diet, and exercise alone and the tumor still grew (albiet not very fast). I am planning on remaining on program, but adding the treatments in Germany and the five year dendritic cell therapy treatment.

I am very excited about this new chapter of my life. It is going to have a huge price tag, but I can not tip toe around my health, I need to exhaust the most cutting edge treatments no matter the cost. This is a five year commitment, which sounds crazy when I've heard and read that my average life span is equivalent. I have a nasty type of astrocytoma, and it is something to be respected. I need to fight smart, not just hard. At this point, Dr Liau told me that there is no measurable tumor, that she was able to perform a gross total resection. I feel this is the exact time to start this treatment to jump start my immune system, teaching it to clean up my tumor. I know what it feels like to chase the cells, trying in vain to clean them up, to shrink the tumor. It's too stressful! I want to try and keep this clean slate, and I will do it at any cost.

It's exciting, thrilling, nerve wracking, and a little stressful. After happily discussing everything with Dan, his smile faded, he looked at me soberly and said, "Huh...I guess there goes kids." We both sat there for a few minutes and then started laughing, realizing that we were jumping waaaaay ahead of ourselves :) Women have babies at 37 sometimes....right? :) Least of our worries, but things like that do pop into our minds from time to time.

Another note about Germany, my travel partner will be my buddy Michelle Green! I'm so excited to take this goofy, laugh filled trip - which always happens with her :) She's taking off time from work, and has already started researching flights, trains, cars, and our sweet little German town in the middle of nowhere. I will be in great hands! Even though this a medical trip, it feels like it's going to be a girls trip, a vacation. I CAN'T WAIT!! :)


4 comments:

  1. So excited for you!!!
    Big hugs,
    Maleka

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  2. I phone translate app sounds like a must ! You are going to do great, always have, always will! Keep looking up, God is on your side:)

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  3. I had my second baby 5 mths shy of my 40th birthday and my sister-in-law had a "surprise" baby at 46!! Never lose hope!

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  4. Dear Jessica, just wishing you and your family all the success and luck you deserve.
    the treatment you will be having i think is by an American company called.
    NORTHWEST BIOTHERAPEUTICS
    NWBOIO.COM
    I have been involved with the company for quiet a few years now and it certainly offers much hope for cancer treatment.
    You might find the web page interesting and it offers many case studies from people who have had the treatment when the phase 1 trail started in the States many years ago.
    Despite the treatment not getting FDA approval yet compassionate treatment is allowed in Europe.You, i think will be one of the first to be treated in Germany.
    Kings collage in London are also offering the treatment while being involved in the phase 111 trail as well.
    Best of luck with your illness.


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