Going for the superlative
Dr. Friedman: The polio vaccine isn’t an option for Alison. Not now. Not in the future.
Me: Thank you, doctor. We’ll continue doing what we’re doing then. I’ll save her, somehow.
Years ago, when Alison and I just started dating:
Me: (struggling with the tip on a check) I’m a clear exception to the stereotype that all Asians are good at math.
Her: (laughing and taking the check) I actually won the Unified Math competition in my school as a kid.
Me: You beat out the Chinese? I don’t believe it.
Her: It’s true.
One of the things I love about Alison is that she never settled for second best. If she did something, she went full bore.
She didn’t just work in a non-profit, she actually flew out to Africa and Asia on the reg to help out.
She didn’t just study Spanish, she got a certificate in fluency and lived in Spain for while.
I could go on.
Unfortunately, this is also true of her cancer. She not only has what is considered the worst type of cancer – a brain cancer – she has a glioblastoma, the deadliest form of brain cancer.
And she not only has a GBM, she has the rarest type, one that passes the corpus collsum. And she not only has the rarest type of the deadliest type, she has the most difficult one to cure, the butterfly glioma.
It’s the one time I wish she didn’t go for the superlative.
When this all first happened, pulled out every favor ever owed to me that had any chance of helping us.
To this end, someone got me in touch with Dr. Henry Friedman, the doctor on the 60 Minutes show Killing Cancer and I spoke to him about potentially getting her the vaccine.
He told me then – and we spoke again two days ago – that because Alison has a butterfly glioma, she would never be able to participate in the vaccine now, or in the foreseeable future.
Obviously, this isn’t what I wanted to hear. But I accept the world as it is, not as I hope it be. But it doesn’t mean I’ll stop looking for a cure.
I just want all of you (very kind and well-meaning) readers to know that it’s not an option and will never be.
Our search continues.