Our family

Our family
Curtis and Tav

Friday, May 27, 2011

Infusion Again.. Possibly pain pump?

Curtis is having another infusion today. He actually did quite well with the last one. He had a nerve block a little over a week ago, with little relief. The next option is a pain pump which we are considering. Curtis was doing some research on some alternate treatments and found cryotherapy where they freeze the cancer cells. This lead to more research and we found a facility in Phoenix that does a lot of alternative treatments for specifically stage 4 cancer patients. We will be flying down to Phoenix to see what they can do for him in the next few weeks. If we do decide on treatment there, we will need somewhere to stay during the treatments. If anyone has family/friends in the Phoenix area that would be willing to let us stay for a few days let me know :)  Here is some info on the pain pump. I will post info about the other options if we find out that they are infact options in Curtis' case.

What Is a Drug Pump?

Drug pumps (intrathecal drug delivery systems) delivery pain medication to the fluid around the spinal cord, called the intrathecal space. Because the drug pump releases medication directly to the pain receptors in the spine, pain relief can be achieved with a small fraction of the oral medication dose.1-6
  SynchroMed II Drug Pump

About the Drug Delivery System

The system consists of a pump and catheter, both of which are surgically placed under the skin. The pump is a round device that stores and delivers pain medication. It is placed in your abdomen. The catheter (a thin, flexible tube) is inserted into your spine and connected to the pump.
During the surgery, your doctor fills the pump with pain medication using a needle. The pump sends the medication through the catheter to the spinal area where pain receptors are located. You return to your doctor for more medicine when the pump needs to be refilled.

How It Works

The spinal cord is like a highway for pain signals that are heading to the brain. When the pump sends pain medication directly to the spine, it interrupts the pain signals before they reach the brain.

Medtronic Products

Drug delivery therapy from Medtronic may help manage your cancer pain so you are more comfortable and able to perform your usual daily activities, although it may not be possible to eliminate your pain completely.
The Medtronic SynchroMed® drug delivery system consists of:
  • A battery-operated pump surgically placed under the skin of the abdomen
  • A soft tube called a catheter, surgically placed under the skin, that carries the medication from the pump to the intrathecal space of the spine
  • A handheld programmer your clinician uses to adjust the medication dosage to treat your pain
  • A handheld patient control device called myPTM® that allows you to give yourself an extra dose of medication (within physician-set parameters) in response to intermittent pain (ask your clinician if this device is appropriate for your condition and if it is covered by your insurance)
It is important to note that the system can be surgically removed if you decide to discontinue the therapy.


  1. I have emailed my cousins and also a friend who both live in the phoenix area. I'll let you know what they say. -Cheryl

  2. Did you ask Codie James, curtis's cousin?

  3. If hope could fit in a basket, I'd deliver one to your door today! Patsy Clairmont
    I sure love you guys and think of you all the time. Hope Curtis is having a good day today and, Shannon, that you are feeling peace and able to concentrate on your school work.
    Aunt Marilyn

  4. I found your blog when I was writing in my blog and looking for photos. I have pancreatitis, disabled veteran, we are discussing the two medtronic device options, which is kinda scary... Anyway I just wanted to share my blog with you, I will be keeping an eye out for your newer stuff... I wish you luck. http://painunitesus.blogspot.com/