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High Dose Interleukin as Olympic Sport

Posted by on February 11, 2010 in IL-2, My Health Updates - No comments

Let the games begin!

We’ve seen a lot of coverage about the opening of the Winter Olympics.  And Chris is on a bit of an olympic race of his own.  One of the effects of IL-2 is that it causes your heart rate to increase dramatically.  Right now, Chris is sleeping, but his heart is beating at 130 beats per minute.

As one of our fantastic nurses pointed out,  with a heart rate that high, he’s basically running a five day long marathon.  She also commented that most people aren’t walking after dose seven.  But, Chris is about to get dose nine and in my book he’s performing like an Olympian.  In fact, if IL-2 was an olympic sport, I think Chris would be a medalist.

Throughout the week, I’ve been e-mailing with a woman named Iris.  Her husband Mark started IL-2 on Monday as well – but they’re in California.  Running the same marathon as us — maybe we’ll all meet in the middle!  It’s been wonderful to be able to communicate with Iris everday and compare notes.  Like Chris, Mark is clearly vying for a medal too.

A few people have e-mailed to ask when the race ends.  It’s a good question.  As one doctor put it, the goal is to give you just enough IL-2 without killing you.  That’s a pretty good goal…  14 doses is the number that floats around — but in fact, 14 doses is the just the maximum amount they are allowed to give you.  Most people don’t get to 14.

The decision to stop dosing is as much our decision as it is the doctors.  We all sort of work together as a team to determine the right time to stop.  And, we’re pretty impressed to have the Duke staff on our team– this hospital is top notch!  One factor to consider is that this is just the first round.  Physically and pyschologically, we have to be able to come back and do this again in two weeks.  But, for now — we’re pressing ahead with dose nine and we don’t plan to stop anytime soon.

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