Wednesday, March 07, 2012

7th March 2012

Another good day, for most of it anyway, although this evening I’m feeling really tired and quite sleepy. That’s most unusual as I never have been one for catnapping. But I was rather busy all morning taking my friend to hospital where he had surprisingly good news. He already knew of some sort of cancer diagnosis, just no details, and now the prognosis and treatment both sound excellent, so he should be able to continue with ‘normal’ life. So that’s good! It’s strange how he’s been referred to the same consultant that Jane saw for her very first appointment, and adjoining the palliative care clinic that was Jane’s very last hospital visit. That was a mammoth ordeal in itself. Yet despite these memories I felt fine today, just happy to support my friend and his wife. I deposited them at the nearby garden centre for an hour or so to have lunch together and help recover from the ordeal. We all face these challenges in different ways but I know exactly what they’re going through.

Jane’s initial prognosis was not brilliant as she had a very rare and quite dangerous cancer type. We totally ignored the threat, accepted the recommended treatment and avoided the optional for which there was no data to inform. Once her cancer reappeared she was eventually told that there was no longer any hope and any treatment would at best stall the inevitable. Again we ignored the threat and simply continued our walk with God as he alone determines the number of our days. Jane was given the opportunity to transfer to Nottingham University Hospital and engage with a clinical trial. Whilst this always had potential for an improved outcome it never offered even the suggestion of a cure. She endured a number of trials, some with quite high toxicity and completely without data for her cancer type. They were offered as exploratory and engagement primarily altruistic. We prayed a lot and hoped for a miracle, as you do, but Jane suffered a lot for the benefit of clinical trials, and she gained very little personally. The doctors were wonderful, I have nothing but praise and they always allowed Jane to make her own well informed decisions.

I’ve not been told of the exact treatment my friend is having but my guess is that it’s a new drug that was only approved for his condition last month… apparently a record time after successful clinical trials. It’s a different, though seemingly related drug to one that Jane trialled at a couple of years ago. It’s nice to think that even whilst she was fighting for her own life she was still able to help others in some small way. I remember the disappointment of the particularly promising randomised phase three double blind trial, when she discovered she was the one in three person taking a placebo. It was heart wrenching thinking about the actual drug being just along the corridor in the pharmacy! That treatment was promising to come on stream by now… life’s not easy is it? We may not always understand or easily welcome life’s challenges, but one thing is for sure, God is totally aware of every tiny detail of our lives. And he only allows that which is ultimately for our good and his glory.

John 3:27 ‘No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven’ (NLT)

No comments: