Just back from England and South Africa – a two-week trip, in between chemotherapy appointments. The trip was fascinating, filled with interviews of family and friends of Arthur Chaskalson, the South African judge and anti-apartheid lawyer, and my longtime friend, whose biography I’m writing. It was also a lot of fun; many of the people Teresa and I were talking with were old friends, and along the way we got to spend time with my sister Lucy and her husband Todd in London, just after the appalling Brexit vote.
As Teresa wrote on Facebook, we’re very grateful to Sloan Kettering for the care they’ve given me, which has done so much to make a trip like this possible. We also learned that air travel is a lot easier in economy-plus seats! With all that, plus the energy shakes that Teresa made every day, I actually felt the jet lag was easier to handle than it sometimes has been for me – and aside from one evening when I got overtired and reached 99 degrees on our thermometer (warm for me), I felt pretty good even though we were really working quite hard.
The big medical news now that we’re back is that my next CT scan has been scheduled, for Monday, July 25. We’ll learn a few days later what it shows. The main question is whether this is the moment for me to enter Sloan Kettering’s clinical trial. As readers of this blog know, this clinical trial has been a possibility for some time. It involves abdominal surgery, to implant a pump which in turn would transmit chemotherapy directly to the liver; this would complement the kind of “systemic” chemotherapy I’ve been receiving so far, which is injected intravenously and aims at my entire body. We’ve hesitated to depart from the current, systemic chemotherapy, since it has been working so well. But at the same time we don’t want to lose the moment for adding this clinical trial approach – and it may be that the coming CT scan will show that we’re at a tipping point where the clinical trial will make sense. In any case, we’ll know a lot more soon. More to come on that!