Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vaccine #5 on hold....

Rilley was to receive his fifth vaccine this week, however there has been a bit of an issue at the lab.  We received an email yesterday letting us know that there will be a five day delay.  I'm not going to pretend to be an expert but from what I understand there weren't enough cells produced to make a full batch of vaccine.  However, we know that the dedicated staff at the lab are working diligently to manufacture a new batch.  I suppose you have to expect the odd bump in the road when you're fortunate enough to have access to leading edge research and experimental treatments.

If you sit back and think about it, it does seem ironic that while our pup lays at our feet enjoying life, he is blissfully unaware of all the work that has gone into saving his life.

Obviously the news that there was an issue at the lab level this time had us concerned, so last night we emailed the doctors at the University. Dr. Ohlfest responded earlier today with a quick email to ask us not to worry, there isn't anything to be concerned about right now.  Then later this evening we were pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from him as well.  (This was the very first time that we had the opportunity to speak with him directly; previously it had only been through email.)  Dr. Ohlfest said that this delay is not believed to compromise Rilley's health, more specifically he put it this way "The beauty of the immune system is that it does not forget; it is not like a drug that wears off."  In essence, if the treatment is working, as we can only assume it is, there are tumour-specific antibodies flowing through Rilley's bloodstream at this very moment.

Needless to say his call made us feel more at ease about the situation and we really appreciated the call directly from the man himself.  In early February, Rilley, Sara and I will be travelling back to Minneapolis for Rilley's first follow up visit.  One stop that we are excited to make is a visit to the Ohlfest Brain Tumor Lab to meet Dr. Ohlfest and hopefully some of the staff as well.

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