I heard on Friday that I’ve been voted out.
There was always the possibility that I wouldn’t be part of the clinical trial but at this point, it’s not unlike stepping barefoot onto a Lego block. You see the floor scattered with colourful mini bricks with their inflexible edges. There’s a chance you might be impaled but it’s only a chance and you’ve survived it before. Until it happens, the truth of that eye-squinting, vocabulary-extending pain isn’t nearly as clear as when the offending block actually finds your sole and the memory of the pain rushes back. Then there’s nothing to do but drop everything and console yourself until you can get up and walk again.
That’s where I’ve been for a couple of days. Consoling myself in my cave. And now I can think. The drug company’s investing millions into this research. Were I in their shoes, I’d want the clearest possible results and so I’d probably have voted me out too in order to protect the integrity of the outcome. There was always this chance and while I’d grown accustomed to the not-knowing, the status quo has changed and now I do know. And that one door is closed. Now there’s a different discomfort – another I’m also familiar with.
What’s left to do?
I don’t know. Well, I do. I vaguely remember some discussions with the oncologist but instead of wracking my memory, I’ll focus elsewhere and wait until I see her. The options might’ve changed anyway. Next week, I have a kind of exit interview with the oncologist. If you remember, it’s a different onco to mine who’s running the trials. I have the option to stay on with her but I like my oncologist’s approach and unless this other one surprises me, I’ll be going back to mine. I’m due to see her in August anyway so it’s like I took a little tangent rollercoaster in between consults.
But what about…
I might’ve come across blasé in what I’ve written. Don’t for a second assume that I’ve given up or that I haven’t asked all the questions. I, and no one else, have the biggest interest in things working out and so, believe me, I’ve asked all the questions of all the right people. There’s a time to be positive and to push forward with purpose. There are also times to step back and ease up in order to be able to push on again. Easing up and taking a breath is not giving up. There’s a lot to be said for homeostasis but that’s for another post.