Posted by: Ken Wheatley | July 10, 2009

USC Rocks!

As you can tell from the title, the visit went very well.

The USC complex is massive – the largest medical facility I’ve ever seen. Anywhere.  So that was both reassuring and at first disconcerting thinking that one could get lost in the process quite easily, based on experiences at other smaller centers. But everything went very smoothly, everyone was very nice and professional and Dr. Gitlitz is one of the best doctors we’ve come across. So that was a good start.

She spent almost an hour with us going over all the records and history. At the end of the review she was able to tell us that there is a trial involving a drug that is very different than anything Sheila has had so far. Dr. G has to talk with Dr. B on Monday to clarify some minor points, but it looks very promising at this point that Sheila will be accepted. She’d have to wait another two weeks – they require a three week break after radiation treatment instead of two – so that’s the only downside, per se. It’s already been 6 weeks since Sheila has received any chemo and we can’t help but wonder what those little bastard tumors are doing in there. Regardless, we don’t have a choice right now, so we just hope that they are being merciful and not taking advantage of this window of opportunity.

In the meantime we’re still trying to get the appointment at MD Anderson in Houston. Sheila has sent off the paperwork they requested, and they’ve had several phone conversations, so we’re hoping to get the call from them to come out next week for the evaluation meeting. If they have a trial Sheila is qualified for, then the timing would work well to at least have a choice of trials for us to evaluate with Dr. B. Dr. G even offered to review the MD Anderson trial with us when we get the information even though they are “competitors.” Very cool of her…

Sheila fell asleep in the exam room a few times as Dr. G stepped in and out of the room, and the gentle rock of the train has put her to sleep again. She certainly needs the rest.

The train just entered Dana Point and the ocean looks beautiful. There are some sailboats out in the distance, and the sun is casting a sparkling path on the water from the beach to the horizon. I hope we can go sailing this summer.



  1. Great news. Glad to hear there is something to smile about. Take care. Love the Smos



  3. you’re certainly deserving of some good news.

    annie and i always have you both in our thoughts. looking forward to reading about more good things to come!

  4. what amazing news……………and more to come!

  5. Thanks Barry…good to hear from you…

    We’re heading to MD Anderson tomorrow afternoon for a Thursday appointment. We were scheduled to see a doctor not of our choice, because the doctor we were hoping to see is in high demand and wasn’t available. But through the power of networking, Sheila is friends with another patient who knows the doctor personally, so we sent him an email tonight and he just responded a few minutes ago (1am in the morning Houston time!!) saying that he would clear a space in his calendar and see us on Thursday! Hopefully that’s a good sign.

    Give a hug to Annie for us.

    Take care,


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