On Monday this week, we did the second treatment of Emmas tumour here in Mexico.
Since the first treatment, 18 days earlier, Emma had been tired for the first week, her legs were really failing her badly for the first couple of days, but she soon snapped back to normal.
We have seen a change in her mood, she likes to have more fun, is more engaged in the things we do, and have started playing with things spontaneously. All this is really good signs. We have also got her to stop taking steroids.
The steroids are used to reduce swelling inside the head, but also to increase mood and increase appetite. However, in this program that we are on, getting rid of the steroids is a must before going to phase 2, the immunotherapy, which is really where the big strides against the tumour is happening. As far as I understand, the steroids themselves suppress the effectiveness of the immunotherapy, so it cannot be done until Emma is rid of them.
Next treatment, which is in a little over 2 weeks, we will be getting our first immunotherapy session. It also means that the cost per treatment is going from about $15,000 USD per session (about 140.000 SEK) to over $30,000 USD (close to 300.000 SEK per treatment).
Yes, health care really costs this much. In fact, what we have been getting for the money we paid out is far cheaper than the actual cost would be back home in Sweden, just that our social health care service picks up the bill.
Emmas tumour has not shrunk, but it has not progressed further. This, in combination that we have removed the steroids and she is still in good mood, is a big step forwards.
Right now, Emma is resting, she is a bit worn out after the treatments, but no nausea, no vomiting, no headaches. All very good signs. It also means that the scare of possibly having to surgically implant a shunt is over for now. Clinically, she is doing great.
Next step is to get a follow up where all the MRI images will be shown and we will see comparison of the tumour prior to the first treatment and prior to the second treatment. After that, we will plan for having her blood draw, which is needed for the immunotherapy, and for a light chemotherapy session and introducing the now special force trained white blood cells back into her blood stream and triggering her immune system to start attacking the tumour!