Tuesday, March 11, 2008

From the Hospital Room...

I have been asked to provide a brief update on the course of treatment while here at UVA Health Center. Since arriving on Monday, I underwent another series of tests to determine if it was safe to proceed with the high dose Interleukin-2 protocol. I am pleased to report that the tests were all improved and I have entered the protocol. The protocol consists of standardized doses of Interleukin-2 (a biologic agent that induces special lymphocytes to engage in a "search and destroy mission" against tumor cells, wherever they may be found), to be given via a central venous port approximately every 8 hrs. Each dose is expected to induce progressively more dramatic effects as the agent produces a cumulative effect on the immune system. Side effects include fever, chills, generalized pain and other local effects as tumors swell, internal fluid shifts, generalized fluid retention, low blood pressure, potential kidney impairment, etc.

So far I have tolerated the first two doses, with the second dose resulting in the expected generalized pain, fever and chills. Because of the height of the fever, the third dose is being post-poned by one 8-hr interval. Dr Grosh is very thorough and cautious in order to avoid causing more harm than good (which I appreciate). The treatment is expected to continue to either a total of nine doses or until the agent induces intolerable toxic side effects, whichever comes first.

Your expressions of love and concern have overwhelmed and sustained us. I will let you know when this course of treatment is complete.



  1. Dan, Holly and I continue to pray for you and Linda, as well as all of your family. We are also praying that your doctor will be given wisdom and insight as he prescribes treatment. I wish we could be with you in person to help nurture and encourage you but please known that we are doing all we can in the spiritual realm.

    In His Love,

    Tom & Holly

  2. I love you Dr. Crabtree and am so glad you are sharing your journey with us. I continue to lift you up daily...in Christ, Susan

  3. Dr. Crabtree,

    We are glad your treatments have started and hope that the side effects hold to an at least tolerable level. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are there with you. We continue praying daily for your remission and recovery.

    Thoughts, prayers and many special wishes,

    Stacy, Joe, Kirsti, Kelsi, Gregory, Kati & Justin

  4. Prayed for you this morning and will continue to pray daily. My mother's melanoma has spread to her lymph nodes and she will need radiation treatments. I understand what your family is going through. Know that many are with you in thought and spirit.

  5. Dan and Linda, we are with you every step of the way. We are amazed not only with the time you have spent sharing this journey with all of us, but how you have also taught us in your blog entries. We have grown from this. How can we help you in a practical way? Love, Lilia

  6. Dan and Linda,

    Charlie and Marilyn Freeman from Muskegon MI...we knew you long ago, slightly, and heard about your situation yesterday through Debbie Barkett. Your spiritual journey through this is amazing, similar to so much that we have learned and conversations with the Lord so much the same. He is with those of us who are suffering with cancer...I was diagnosed with Multitple Myeloma 18 months ago. God does heal...there are miracles everyday. We claim them for you and cast satan out of the picture in the name of Jesus Christ. he has no power over your situation...only God the healer does.

  7. Dear Dan and Linda:

    My church family and I are praying for you. I went to U.Va. as an undergrad in the 70's and returned for neurosurgery in 2005. Looking at those mountains and feeling lifted up by God is an experience that I hope you have shared.

    It has touched my heart lately how much God is working for my healing and wholeness in ways that are beyond "sick" or "well", "cure" or "remission". One of my favorite elders (married at 17 and celebrating her 62nd wedding anniversary!) has a favorite prayer that we feel the love and blessings of God "from the top of your head to the tips of your toes." That's a time-tested prayer that I offer up for you.

    Thanks for keeping your friends updated as your energy permits. I wish you peace and strength for the journey... 'cause you already have LOTS of love coming your way every minute!

    With love and lots of deep breaths,
    Mary Graham cell 757-573-8559