Waiting for the next island
Her: I’m tired of being sick and in pain. What’s the point? To live a few more days?
Me: To stay alive for one more year.
For the past few months, Alison’s been on three treatments to fight this damn thing. Last Monday, we lost all three treatments.
- One treatment is called Optune and involves an array of magnets that she wears on her head 24/7. It sounds crazy but was just approved in October 2015 to fight her type of cancer.
- The second is an experimental treatment that’s not approved for her cancer but it’s similar to the treatment that President Carter used. We just started it last week because of her new growth.
- The third is a highly experimental treatment that’s not approved for any cancer but passed Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in Brazil. I managed to find a supplier to agree to get me some.
The first two we lost because our insurance changed. The third we lost because FDA rules changed.
It was a difficult Monday, to say the least. Yet, in some ways, Alison seemed relieved. She was tired. Tired of the struggle. Tired of the pain. And I couldn’t blame her.
But later on in the week, Optune told us to appeal the decision and if we did that, they would let us continue to use the device for a fraction of the $21,000 per month it costs (you read that right). So we got that back.
Then our doctor called the insurance company and asked for a waiver for the second treatment. He called us late in the week to come in for another infusion because it had been approved. I’ll update this entry this week if it happens. So that’s back too.
Finally, a young woman I had been corresponding with about the third treatment told me that her husband wasn’t doing well. So she was going to send me two months of the drug. It just arrived.
More on that in another entry as it deserves more than such a brief mention here.
So I told Alison that all I wanted was for her to make another year. Because we didn’t know what the future holds. On Monday, all seemed lost. By Friday, we were back in business.
And, like I said, Optune was just approved October 2015. Who knows what will happen October 2017? We just have to go a little farther.
Me: Remember that story I told you about the 12,000 miles? We just have to keep going until we see another island. I’m just asking you to hang on for a little while longer.
Her: I’m so tired.
Me: Just a little while longer. I’ll be with you the whole time.
My gym sent her those flowers above.
It was the perfect cheery thing for an otherwise un-cheery week.