Another milestone passed as we completed our brief return for treatment at the Marsden and head back once again to the more illustrious environment at Great Ormond Street. I don’t know that we have a preference – each hospital has their pros and cons – but both unequivocally offer a fantastic level of expertise, care and support.
The radiotherapy completed with glowing results (sorry, couldn’t resist that) and the tumour caused by relapse appears to have been destroyed. Today, Fabian had a bone marrow aspirate and intrathecal chemotherapy and the result will tell us how his disease has responded to the low level chemo protocol over the last two months. As they administered the anaestheia, he chirpily drifted into unconsciousness, reminding us he was ‘off to have a kip’. We used to find this moment quite emotional but the cheer repetitiveness of this procedure has anaesthatised us against anxiety. The modified T cells are a little delayed and are not now planned for infusion until early June. We understand the new vaccination approach they will use is now standard procedure on the international trial and this change was confirmed by what was learnt from treating Fabian. We therefore feel that far from being a ‘guinea pig’, Fabian is in fact a pioneer, in the forefront of immunotherapy treatment. He of course, does not quite see it that way but we and many others are immensely proud that he has stayed the distance and kept his spirits intact.
Many of you will have read the recent media attention surrounding Stephen Sutton, another young man fighting life-threatening cancer and the image of him giving a thumbs-up generated a huge fund-raising response across the world. That gesture is a powerful, yet simple symbol of inner strength and one which Fabian has always used himself. So do join us by giving him a big thumbs up wherever you are reading this – and send us a selfie if you dare!