ASH 2012: Dr. John Byrd and the Dream of Magic Bullets: The History and Science behind the Success of the BCR blockers such as Ibrubinib (PCI-32765) and Idelalisib (GS-1101 or CAL101)
Be prepared to hear a progression free survival rate in the trial that Dr. Byrd presented at the ASH press conference that will knock your socks off.
Be prepared for some surprisingly good news on what happens to the adverse events the longer you are on the medication.
If you have visited my site at all in the last few months, you are already prepared for the news of the changing of the guard from old school cytotoxic, collaterally damaging, mutagenic chemotherapy to the emerging gentler targeted biological approaches.
The house, the vegetable garden, the tea trees, and most importantly, the cat will be cared for by my adult children who will be moving in during our absence.
Packing the clothes is the easiest part of getting ready. Many layers, and be prepared for the cold and wet.
I have burned about 4 hours of traditional Irish music to keep as going as we drive from village to village in our little rental car.
Paperwork and boarding passes may be an issue as United Airlines and Aer Lingus don't seem to like to play well together. I am hoping our status with Global Entry and TSA-Prescreen will help, but I am not counting on it. The connection in Chicago is tight.
The real work is getting all my precious meds organized for my daily needs. That takes hours of counting out pills. The idea of schlepping more than 20 bottles of my daily and my just in case medication is overwhelming. Without my meds, I would be in trouble fast, so I always bring extras for a few days' buffer. And I bring emergency meds for sudden infections, especially with the flu making the rounds in the USA and Ireland. My irreplaceable Ibrutinib travels in my pants pocket so it is always with me.
The prep for a trip and the worry over what could go wrong is always the worst part. Once we are in Ireland, no matter how cold and damp, we will love it.
What makes that especially certain is that an internet friend whose wife has CLL is meeting us at the airport for a guided tour of the capital of his country, Dublin and then we will share a vegan dinner together. For a fanciful end to our very long day of travel and time shifts and touring, my wife and I will sleep in a real castle.
We can't wait to hit the road.
I am very lucky, but I got a ton of work to do before we leave for the airport.
One piece of personal medical news. Despite all the bone wasting corticosteroids prescribed with my infusions and other issues, and my stopping calcium, my bone density was unchanged in the last two years. I am still in the no man's land of osteopenia (not quite normal but not an an increased risk of fractures), but have not progressed to osteoporosis. I am crediting my high doses of Vitamin D3 and my weight training.