Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Clinical Trials: Love 'Em, Hate 'Em

I am so in support of clinical research. After all, that is one reason why I am doing so well. I have options for treatment with success rates because of clinical research. So when I was asked to participate in a Zometa (bone strengthening medication) study, I was glad to oblige.

This is a randomized two arm study, aimed at cancer patients receiving Zometa. This means that neither I nor anyone who touches the drug (pharmacy, clinical staff, researchers) will know if I am getting Zometa every four weeks or every 12 weeks. The two arms means there are just two options. 1) getting Zometa every four weeks, or 2) getting Zometa every 12 weeks and getting a placebo (an inactive substance that will LOOK like the active drug) the two months in between.

So, I love the fact that I am helping research. I love the fact that this expensive drug will be FREE to me for the next year (the length of the study). The staff and researchers are unfailingly polite, pleasant and friendly.

I hate that I have to do extra xrays/scans/ blood draws. They are free to me also but they take time, I am exposed to more radiation/radioactive substances and I have to wait around more. I guess I didn't think through the reality that not everyone is available on Wednesdays so I am having to drive to Seattle an extra day. They had scheduled me to come to Seattle three days in a row but I absolutely refused that! They managed to get some of the stuff onto Wednesdays after that. But last week I spent ALL day at SCCA waiting to be called for tests, getting tests and being surprised by having to do more tests than I remembered reading/hearing about. Probably I just didn't pay enough attention when the coordinator went over it all. But I really wanted to go on a hike and felt put upon because we spent the day at SCCA instead.

All in all, I am glad I am doing this study. Just venting about the reality of the process & wanting to share what it's like.

As always thank you for your prayers, your support.

- Heidi


  1. Hello Heidi,
    I pray that this trial works wonders for you. I tried to send a post earlier, but it didn't take, so if this is a duplicate, my apologies. I agree that the travel and waiting can be real hard.

    Peace and Blessings, Denise

  2. My husband has been considering a clinical trial. For right now, he is on a "maintenance Chemo." The trial his doctor at the SCCA had in mind for him fell through. Maybe something else will pop up in the future. Stay strong.