Monday, December 15, 2008
My doctor has a patient who was ravaged by melanoma. The woman had reacted badly to many of her treatments and had reached the end of her rope. She entered hospice, where she expected to last out the rest of her life in relative comfort.
My doctor noticed that this woman’s melanoma had started in moist lesions, but initial suggestions to try Gleevec met with resistance. The woman was convinced her time was up and didn’t want to go through the pain of more experimentation. My doctor, however, prevailed, and the woman started taking Gleevec.
Several weeks later, the woman reports that she is back on the treadmill, back on the tennis court; and best of all, she’s been kicked out of hospice! She knows she’s getting better because her kids don’t call anymore.
Lately I've been thoroughly consumed by pain management and exhaustion management. It finally hit me this weekend, there's one outstanding question: will I respond to the drug? There will be anxiety in this household until I get an answer to that. But in the meantime, I do know that Gleevec is capable of miracles.