Yesterday afternoon I was informed that I would not be receiving the protocol drug RTOG-0436 but instead would be in the control group who does not. The potential benefit of RTOG-0436 included the possibility of reducing post-chemo / radiation surgery. However my cancer will certainly require some degree of surgery so the efficacy of being included in the test group as opposed to the control group is debatable at best. My primary goal in volunteering for the RTOG-0436 protocol test was to contribute in some tangible way to the advancement of the war on cancer, and in this my participation is a success whether I am on the protocol drug or not.
However I will be starting chemo and radiation a day early. Inclusion in the protocol requires my treatment to begin on Tuesday, and if I miss tomorrow's group I shall be forced to wait until next week. As speed is essential in fighting cancer, I pushed for earlier rather than later.
It is just after midnight and the prospect of starting treatment tomorrow terrorfies me. It is what I want and am eager to do, but it marks the beginning of an adventure whose journey and possible end that I can not control.
Last Saturday I spent the night trying to escape from this reality and re-connect with the places in Louisville I love. I visited the Speed Museum, Wild and Wooley video, Highland Coffee, cafe 360, Heine Brothers and Carmichael's Bookstore, Cave Hill and Eastern Star, and listened to music while wandering the highways. The morning brought with it a storm and grey wet skies, but I ignored this portent and embrace this moment, this perfect moment, of the here and now and all the good friends that I have. I am grateful for this life and the people who have shared theirs with me. I'm ready for this adventure.