I am now 4 days past my car-t cell infusion. The toxicities with this treatment are called Cytokine Release Syndrome or CRS, they also call it the “Cytokine Storm.” I like that better, it sounds like a ride at a theme park. The Cytokine Storm can be an indicator that the new t-cells are in there doing their thing. However, some people have no signs. I asked every possible question I could think of as to how the side effects relate to results. I’m an over-achiever like that. The side effects include fever, low blood pressure, neurological difficulties, and a few others. If I run a consistent fever above a certain threshold I will be admitted to the hospital to rule out infection. If any of the side effects are extreme it’s the hospital. I don’t like spending time in the hospital, but my reaction was sign me up. Get me a room, I’ll take a few days with a side of cancer curing.
Imagine my disappointment when I had no fever. My reaction was to take my temp again a few dozen times. No fever. Day 2 I had some dizziness. I was thrilled…but I wanted that fever. Yesterday I noticed a barely perceptible heat. It crept up. My temperature, like my blood pressure, already runs low normal. For me, I was over 1.5 degrees above my normal, and –best of all– officially I had a fever. It lasted at least 5 hours, long enough for me to start feeling sick.
As I sit here, thermometer in mouth again, I’d like to say thank you t-cells! You be good to me, and I’ll be good to you. Alas, I’m back to normal.