Yesterday we had our appointment at USC with Dr. Quinn. This was the first step on the new path of treatment with doctors who are specialists in testicular cancer. We felt so comfortable talking to him and he was confident that Kevin will have a full recovery. He agreed that high dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue is indeed the next course of action. They do it a little differently there so the protocol is to do ‘triple tandem’ which means instead of two rounds, they do three. It sounds like the ‘high dose chemotherapy’ may be a little less gnarly each time, so the recovery from one round to the next is quicker, but there are three rounds instead of just two. Each round would require some hospitalization, with a minimum of 8 days, and up to as long as it takes to get the immune system back up and running well.
The treatment will start with 4 days of regular chemotherapy (inpatient) followed by preparation to get the stem cells harvested and then 3-5 days of outpatient stem cell harvesting. This will be followed by the triple tandem rounds of high dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue.
When will it start? Well, the doctor was contacting the insurance to get authorization for the treatment plan (while we were in the room with him) and we will get started as soon as the authorization comes through. They like to start the 4 days of chemo on Thursdays, so it is possible if everyone cooperates that Kevin will be checking in to his new hospital room next Thursday, September 4th. This is not set in stone and I will update later as we know more for sure.
We left this appointment feeling confident that we had a doctor who is now leading Kevin’s care that is comfortable with this position. Ready to take each step as they come and rid his body of cancer.