Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Clinical Trial



Most of you all have probably heard the results from Carey’s latest scans.  The cancer has spread to his lungs and lymph nodes so he now qualifies to enter a clinical trial.  We are thankful that the timing worked out just right that he can participate in this trial before it filled up because it’s a targeted therapy drug – which is something we were hoping for. 

While chemo therapy attacks all the cells in the body, targeted therapy is made to attack only the cancerous cells.  This, in theory, makes it easier to tolerate.  It’s also a fairly simple administration - Carey will take one pill each day and check in with his oncologist once a week.  It may come with some uncomfortable side effects, but they are expected to be tolerable. 

In a clinical trial there is usually a control group that receives a placebo (sugar pill).  There is a control group in this trial, however, due to the advanced nature of Carey’s disease he has been guaranteed to receive the actual drug. 

Although we were devastated to learn that the cancer had spread, he wouldn’t qualify for this targeted therapy if it hadn’t.  This may just be the miracle we’ve been waiting for.

Carey posted this on Facebook the other day and I’d like to share it here as well:

“When I was 16, I saw Ronnie Gromada do one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. We were in a card game: a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament. Ronnie goes all in with another fella who happens to have a quarter less than Ronnie. So, Ronnie kept the little white chip signifying 25 cents – the lowest denomination on the table. Ronnie lost the hand but he was able to keep the quarter. Over the course of the next three hours, Ronnie went all in several times, talked to people, wore them down and built himself a sizeable stack. Ronnie took that quarter and came all the way back to win the tournament. As I’m a Cubs fan and haven’t been to as many games as I would’ve liked, this was the single greatest sports or gaming feat I’ve ever seen (that might say more about the sadness of my life). But, when I think about it now, through the frame I’ve developed over the past thirteen months, it’s bigger than just a feat. It’s bigger than the hundred and fifty or so dollars Ronnie took home that night. It’s a matter of belief at this point. It’s a statement of hope and determination. As it stands, I’m in a bit of a pickle. A conundrum. I’m up against it, as they say. It feels as if I have quarter left. But, I’m not without hope because I’ve seen it done before. I’ve seen the odds turned on their head. If you’re breathing, you aren’t out. This, perhaps, sounds overly simplistic and apparent but death doesn’t come until you die. Everything before that is life. It’s living. It’s laughing with my children. It’s loving my wife. It’s the feel of cold air as I step out of the shower. It’s the sense of anticipation as autumn comes. And I have all of that. I have it all. Over this past year, I caught a bad beat but I lived. As long as I’m fighting, I’m living. And as long as I’m living, there’s life, and I’ll drink to that.”

Please keep those prayers coming, friends.  We desperately need them.