I've never considered myself to be a patient person. I'm much more of an instant gratification type of gal. Yet the entire past decade of my life seems to be revolving around waiting. Waiting for medical procedures to start - to finish - to be successful.
I have signed up for a drug trial. The drug company is in the US so my pathology was sent over last week and we are waiting to find if I am eligible. As I understand it the drug targets a certain mutant gene found in fast growing melanoma tumours and (they hope) turns the gene off, so the tumours stop growing, or at least stop growing so fast. Previous trials have shown that some tumours have reduced in size by around 30%. A lovely old Italian man sitting next to DH at the cancer hospital told us that he participated in the last trial. He had been given 3 months to live but now his tumour is 75% smaller than when he started.
Obviously, I really want to get on this trial.
The first hurdle is eligibility. It's a strange new world when I am hoping that my cancer contains a mutant gene that makes it grow faster! The oncologist is 80% sure that it will.
The second hurdle is that the trial is randomised. This means that a computer program on a computer somewhere in the States randomly chooses who gets to try the new drug and who gets the standard chemo treatment. I have been placed on a priority list to start treatment asap, but there is no compassionate bias.
I am trying to think positively. The oncologist thinks another trial will start later in the year if I don't get the new drug on this one. And anyway, maybe the chemo will be just as effective, and there are other new drugs that are also coming on to the market - such as immune system boosters - that are having good results too.
My fingers are crossed and many prayers are being sent off into the ether.