Cancer Update

I’ve now had three chemotherapy infusions.

The first one, on December 20, was an all-day affair that involved three different chemicals (Cetuximab, Cisplatin, and Taxol), along with an assortment of anti-nausea drugs, benadryl, and steroids.

While I felt fine immediately after the treatment, the next week or so was mostly characterized by tiredness and lack of focus, along with some minor stomach issues.

The two treatments since then have only been one-drug affairs (cetuximab) and have gone better, though I did develop a bad acne-like rash, which is one of the common side effects of that drug (since treated with antibiotics).

I’m also participating in a clinical trial that is evaluating the use of Everolimus in treating squamous cell tumors in the head and neck – so I’m either taking that or a placebo every day.

I did manage to make it out to Seattle for a long New Year’s weekend between treatments. It was great to see everybody, and especially to help celebrate my father’s 90th birthday with the assembled family (though I missed the family trip to Semiahmoo, which was too bad).

Things have been busy at work, as I try to hand off most of my operational responsibilities to colleagues to handle while I’ll be mostly out of the office during the upcoming combined radiation and chemo treatment, which starts January 29.

I am tremendously grateful for the willingness of people who are already very busy to take on the extra burden – thanks to Byron, Tom, Klara, and Alex! I’ve also been working out with Klara a bunch of tasks I can continue to work on whether I’m in the office or not – all very interesting work where I can continue to contribute even if it’s remote. I am really bummed out to be missing this coming week’s CSG meeting, though – it’s a great set of topics this time and I’ll miss seeing the gang.

I’m heading in for another full-day chemo infusion on Tuesday (Jan 10). We’ll see how that goes!


7 thoughts on “Cancer Update”

  1. Best of luck with the next batch of treatments! I am sad that you were not able to come to Semiahmoo, too :{ It was so nice getting to see you in Seattle, albeit briefly. If you can update your blog WITH CANCER, surely I can start updating my teaching blog again 🙂



  2. Oren,

    Just saw your post about cancer? I’m sending you loving wishes for healing and a complete recovery.

    Best wishes always!
    John Nelson


  3. Oren,

    I hadn’t heard, and I wish you the very best of luck! (You may know that I recently finished 9.5 months of chemo for colon cancer, so although I don’t know the protocol you’re taking, I have a sense of what you’re going through.)

    Kick ass!!!!



  4. We all missed seeing you! You are and will be very much in our thoughts and prayers. Hang tough and we’ll see you in Iowa!


  5. Thanks for the update Oren. Hang in there.

    We are sending you much love and energy from Seattle!

    Hugs and more hugs,



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