Just back from a couple of days in NYC for Amber’s first dose of pembrolizumab. We went in on Sunday so we could be well rested for a 7:45 AM start on Monday. After an x-ray to confirm her port is looking good, we continued on to a loooong MRI, looking at both the brain and the spine. Amber is a trooper, as always, and did great. Then, we walked through Central Park on the way back to the hotel, enjoying a little fresh air and exercise.
Today (Tuesday) we got to start a little later, going in at 11:30. While waiting for confirmation of lab results and getting the pembrolizumab prepared by the pharmacy, the doctors and nurses came into Amber’s room with a birthday cupcake, gifts, and sang Happy Birthday to her! It was a beautiful gesture by the group, as they get to know us and we get to know them. They are certainly doing everything they can to make Amber (and us) feel comfortable.
While we were waiting, Dr. Kramer also fills us in on the results of the MRIs – both show as expected. A little growth since the last, but nothing to cause any additional concern.
Then came the infusion. With all the build up to this, and with all the importance we place on it, it was remarkably (and thankfully) unimpressive. Amber is hooked up to an IV (via her port) for 30 minutes, and the medicine slowly pumps in. And then they disconnect her, and send us on our way. It was almost a “really, that’s it?” kind of moment – but I’m not complaining. These were incredibly long days for Amber (and for us). But if this works as we hope, and it can be this non-invasive, we will consider ourselves blessed.
So now, we have to come back to MSK weekly for the next 6 weeks for routine labs and vitals checks, and then we go to three week cycles. We pray this works, that the tumor’s growth halts and then begins shrinking. It’s going to take some time to see results, though, so for now we wait and pray.