I decided to sign up for a clinical trial for my melanoma. On one hand, the reason the standard course of treatment is the standard is because, well, it kind of works. Interferon has been the only approved treatment for a long time, but I wasn’t too keen on getting so many shots: twenty injections the first month (Monday to Friday for four weeks), followed by injections three times a week for another forty-eight weeks – that’s 164 injections. I was intrigued with the option for getting eight shots over the course of a year for a drug which seems to work for stage IV melanoma.
But I got placed in the control group today. 164 shots for me. Oh, boy. And I get to start on Monday. Nothing like having a few days to dwell on being miserable and potentially getting sick. I’m not happy about getting interferon. Let me back up a bit. I’m not happy about having cancer. I’m not happy about having a dozen lymph nodes removed. I’m not happy about my leg starting to do a little swelling from my knee down to my ankle. I’m not happy about being out of work for two weeks on convalescent leave for each of my surgeries. And now I’m not happy about getting 164 shots over the next year.
On a positive note, my boss has been very clear that I need to take whatever time I need to manage my treatment. My wife is very supportive and is actively involved in understanding the treatment options and the impact on our lives. I think I’ve got my office running smoothly and my staff knows what needs to be done, which means I don’t need to be there for things to work. All signs point to me being able to focus on taking care of my treatment and not worrying about the rest of my life.
Oh, another positive: I don’t have to get any shots on Christmas. Or New Year’s Day. And that just about does it for the positives. Unless I don’t get more cancer.