Thursday, September 11, 2014

The light at the end of the hallway

Big dreams die hard.
We were excited when I qualified for a research trial testing an all-new "smart drug" that would employ genetic therapy to target specific cells and provide an effective blockade against the cancer that has already spread throughout portions of my body.  Unlike the traditional chemotherapy I've been undergoing, the new treatment would give normal cells and systems a break, and hopefully offer a better quality of life by allowing me to feel better much of the time.
The process of qualifying for the trial was a lengthy one, requiring repeated tests and scans, along with enough paperwork to level a redwood forest.
But finally, the waiting was over. The trial would begin with a morning dose of two innocent-looking capsules, along with a daily log that required me to record the every-day details of the experiment. I barely paid attention when they mentioned some of the side effects I might encounter.
The trial started on a Tuesday.
For a few days, everything seemed normal.
Then, suddenly, it didn't.
I'm not going to go into the gory details of why the clinical trial and I didn't end up like a match made in heaven. Suffice it to say the side effects were--for me, at least--really, really unpleasant.  They left me pretty beat up, both mentally and physically.
But I gave it my best shot.
The good folks at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago assure me I'm not out of options quite yet. Once again, they have astounded us with their astonishing combination of genuine kindness and amazing professionalism. So we'll be taking a look at some of those options over the next few weeks and days. And while we're disappointed things didn't work according to plan, it is, most certainly, not the end of the world.
Meanwhile, it's kind of like those doors.
And like that light.
Because we are both, quite definitely, believers that when one door slams shut, another one slowly swings open.
Just as we know that there will always be a soft light gently glowing at the end of the hallway.

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