Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Piece of Cake or Nivo/Ipi???

So Mindy has been bossing me around.........uh......"helping" me keep track of things since I was, well, born.    From letting Mom know that my apple fell from the tree when I was in Kindergarten (in K we had a tree on the bulletin board and each of us had an apple with our name on it, when you got in trouble, your apple fell from the tree), to going with me to MD Anderson yesterday.   She is a trooper, minus the "Apple incident of 1973 in Austin, TX".

So I fly to Houston Tuesday afternoon, grab an Uber to take me to MD Anderson, and about 5 minutes from the airport I get a text from Dave........."Hey, I'm your Uber, I'm sitting outside, call me when you land".   Sorry Dave.......    I get blood work and then head to the odd building where they do the brain MRI......and I see Dave sitting in the lobby!   Again, sorry buddy.   Tuesday goes smoothly and I head to dinner with Mindy and Dave, I eat well when I'm in Houston!!!

I worked Wednesday morning at Mindy and Dave's house where my mission is to make Max the yellow lab like me, had lunch with M&D, and Mindy and I headed back to MD Anderson. We had a 2:15 appointment with Dr. Patel, she was running an hour behind but she and her team gave us great info about what was coming.    At one point Mindy asks me:   "Are you nervous about starting the nivo/ipi combo thingy?"   Me:  "If I had the choice of eating a piece of cake, or getting an infusion of nivo/ipi, I'll take the cake".   I think that sums it up.     One side note, the 11mm tumor is not 15mm........Dr. Patel doesn't seem concerned, and will keep a close eye on it, measuring each time.

We head downstairs and wait for 45 minutes to be called back into the Infusion center.   They put us in a small room and almost immediately hand us a menu for dinner.   Hey, I'm not one to turn down a free meal, so I order a sandwich.   IV started by Dana, the nurse with angelic IV starting hands and we waited another 15 min for Nivo to show up from the pharmacy.   That arrives and Nivo is flowing.  Here is where we are told Nivo is an HOUR, and Ipi is 90 minutes......ruh roh, I'm not going to make my flight.   So a quick call to Southwest Airlines and I'm on the 10:00 pm flight, but that doesn't look good.   Nivo finishes and we wait 30 min before starting Ipi.   90 min on the clock starts and we start doing math on if I can make that late flight.........not looking good.

Now, here is where the "Great Sandwich Incident of 2016" starts.   MY dinner arrives, Mindy's does not.   I do what any good twin brother would do, OFFER to split my sammich, NEVER thinking Mindy will take food out of the mouth of a Stage III cancer patient, who by the way is hooked up to 4 IV bottles of poison.   But Mindy grabs the sandwich so fast I thought I was going to lose a hand........she scarfed it like a fat kid on Halloween.   

Back to Ipi flowing, the late night nurse comes in and says I have another 5 minutes, then 30 min of observation starts.   IF we do 30 min, NO chance I make my flight, so I ask if we can forgo ALL of the observation, and amazingly she agrees!   A quick check of vitals, and I'm dismissed....and we RUN to the car.   I make the 10:00 pm SWA flight by 10 min and I'm the last one to board.   Home at 11:50 and I'm officially tired.   

Today I'm sore and minor flu like symptoms, but nothing major.   I don't feel great, but not miserable.     One HUGE praise, and an answer to prayer......after the 4 combo doses I start on Nivo every 2 weeks for two years.    Dr. Patel said I could look for a place to do those infusions up here, and just come down there for scans and check ups.   That is BIG!!!

Thank you VERY much again to Uncle Bill and Aunt Emmy for flying me to Houston on SWA, thank you to Mindy and Dave for the hospitality, to Mindy for being by my side for 48+ years........I'll split a sandwich with you any day, and thank you to everyone for the prayers, calls and well means more to me than I can every tell you.



  1. Oh, apparently when your brother offers you half of his sandwich when he's getting chemo you are supposed to say no thanks. My bad. I guess it was the sobbing and begging me not to leave his side that occurred when I said I would just run downstairs to get dinner that left me no choice. Love you Mike Peters!

  2. In the interest of full disclosure, the "Apple fell from the tree" story needs to be filled out a little, Mindy would tell Mom in real time. Mom was teaching Kindergarten in the other half of a portable. Mindy would sneak out of her classroom, walk down the back hallway that connected the two rooms, peak around the corner into Mom's room and say "Mike's Apple has already fallen off the tree." There was no waiting till they got home. Mindy just needed to get it off her chest immediately.

  3. Again, thank you for the good laugh amidst awful circumstances. I am thrilled to hear you still have your hand though. Don't mess with a hungry girl--that's fo sho. Praying for you, Mike!!!