Well, it’s been a crazy and amazing past 8 months leading up to this very exciting point. My team and I have made it successfully through all the evaluations, screenings, tests, procedures, and advance treatments needed for Monday’s BIG SHOT. Tomorrow morning, I will receive an infusion of customized Neoantigen Targeted T-cells – engineered from my own cells and designed to attack my colorectal cancer anywhere it might be in my body. This new approach is on the leading edge of Immunotherapy solutions which hold great promise for the entire cancer community. My treatment is potentially ‘curative’ and may offer a new alternative to the cancer-fighting tools we’ve all known for the past hundred years of so; surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Getting here was no easy task. This is what our last 8 weeks alone looked like in chart form. Note, this is from my POV as the patient and doesn’t show any the numerous steps, gates, and hurdles tackled by our teammates preparing my treatment at UCSF and PACT Pharma:
It is no stretch to say come Monday morning, we will be making some notable medical history. This is a groundbreaking trial because it is among the very first trials in the United States *utilizing customized Neoantigen T-cells to target solid tumors*. Should this trial be successful, it will be a major advance and breakthrough for 5 types of major cancers: colorectal, colon, liver, lung and head & neck cancers.
Along the way to this big day, I have worked hard to 1) be positive, 2) get physically fit, 3) stay engaged with others, and 4) wherever, whenever possible bring some fun and humor along on this dark trek. During the last 8 weeks that all seemed much more important than ever before. We documented some our big milestones in these photos. I am proud to say we (that is, all of Team Crafty and I) simply crushed all the hurdles along this final countdown.
I contend, with great confidence, you will never know a more grateful, more fortunate cancer fighter. I am blessed with amazing family support led by my wife Mady and daughter Natalie. I had the incredible good fortune to get sick within range of one of the very best cancer centers on the planet, UCSF Health in San Francisco. I have access to fantastic healthcare benefits through my employer, Salesforce.com. My extended family, all our friends, my colleagues, customers, and acquaintances from around world, our healthcare heroes and numerous fellow cancer-fighters have rallied around me and my family to create a supportive umbrella we call “Team Crafty”. No one … I repeat … no one, I have ever known has been better equipped or supported to take on this daunting challenge. Mady, Nat, and I are forever grateful for all your support from near and far.
If you are a fan of Marvel Comics and know their film series X-Men, you’ll understand why I joke that I have been an ‘X-Men Trainee’ throughout this cancer journey. X-Men are mutants with “eXtra super powers” that ordinary humans do not possess. Professor X, Magneto, and Wolverine are among the best known X-Men characters. And, Deadpool, my favorite character, has had numerous invites to join the X-Men ranks in the most recent movie story lines. Once I get the BIG SHOT tomorrow, I will technically be a mutant since the new customized T-cells will alter my existing cancer mutation at the cellular level throughout my body. And, when this treatment works, I should be an absolute shoo-in for X-Men status.
In the meantime, I welcome your feedback about what you think my X-Men super power should be / will be. I know I’d be very happy with the simple super power to instantly spread hope, inspiration, and treatment innovations all around the world to all those fighting cancer. (Oh, and the power to fix bicycle tire flats with a finger snap would be really cool too!)
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For more detail on my UCSF/PACT Pharma Clinical Trial … visit this link.