Friday 16th May – Going back to UDub Hospital Day 2

By the way UDub is the cool name for the University of Washington Hospital which is where I am being treated.
Well – I am alive – no life threatening reactions.! Just similar ones to my regular chemo – hot and cold fluy feelings and fatigue – exactly what I thought I’d get Its difficult to tell as today is Day 5 since I had my chemo in London and that is when I get the symptoms from that – bone ache etc.   Definitely getting a tummy ache after the twice daily tea drinking sessions though – I wonder whats in it???
This morning I checked in with the team to have another blood draw and drink my tea.  What a fabulous group of people they are – Stephanie who I have been talking to for 2 years, but never met until now, is a mine of information – she coordinates everything – and I can tell you, it is a well run ship.  There is nothing that Stephanie doesn’t know.  
Its another unusually sunny day and following the hospital visit, Carletto and I went to the Space Needle. From 520 ft you get a 360 degree view of Seattle – I was very impressed until we then went on a Seaplane – now, that is where you get the really fantastic views.  We flew all around Seattle – over Bill Gate’s Estate, the first Amazon headquarters, the floating houses (where Sleepless in Seattle was filmed) and over all the different lakes and stunning areas of Seattle.  I thought Seattle was beautiful from the ground but it was awesome from the air.  

We have done many other fun and interesting things – but these few […]

Wednesday 14th – Whale Watching in the San Juan Islands

Unbelievably we got, last minute, a trip to the San Juan islands which start about 1.30 mins North of Seattle. The San Juan Islands are an archipelago in the northwest corner of the contiguous United States between the US mainland and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The San Juan Islands are part of the U.S. state of Washington. They are the most spectacular group of islands and the weather today was incredible.  About 85 degrees, super calm water – highly unusual for this time of year.  The back drop to the islands are the stunning snow covered Olympic islands.  


Thursday 15th May – Day 1 of my TVG trial

I am going to try and explain in  layman’s terms what I am actually doing.  I am taking part in a Tumour Vaccine Trial.  It really is cutting edge.  In order to be eligible for this trial I have to fit a particular range of criteria.  That criteria is hard to fit, but luckily I do.  There are many types of breast cancers and mine is called “Her 2 positive”.  This is a hormone driven  cancer and is a protein that we all have in our bodies and it is used for many important things and then once it is used for that important function (for example, helping your body to make breast milk when breast feeding) it then sort of shrinks away.  But for some reason with me my T cells didn’t destroy it because they didn’t recognise it as no longer needed and foreign so it kept growing and growing, forming a mass  and that became my cancer.

In your body you have these things called FBI cells that travel around you and  they travel around looking for things that are foreign in any way, shape or form.    I was given the vaccine interdermally on the skin because this  is where the FBI cells like to live.  This is where they look for things first because your skin is your first mechanism and defence system for the outside world,.  When these cells are given the vaccine, they take the pieces  of the vaccine, and they recognise that it is something foreign  and they bring it back to your lymph nodes under your armpit usually.  This is  is where your memory T Cells live.  The memory T Cells look at the cells that […]

Arrival In Seattle

Its 4am – !!! Well, yesterday we arrived in Seattle from a very empty flight (which meant we had all the room in the world) to find ourselves in 85 degrees of sunshine. I was expecting cloud and rains, as that is what happens all the time in Seattle apparently. We had a delightful stroll down to the waters edge and had an early sups outside of delicious fresh Pacific prawns – and then “oomph”: the jet lag hit and a very early night was had. Today is my one free day before the trial starts, we are aiming to pack in as much as possible, hoping to go whale watching and have a little sea plane flight over Seattle. The hotel is great – everything we need and in a very central location.