Yesterday's NYTimes article about the 11th-hour rescue of a dying 6-year-old girl with an investigational treatment created a lot of buzz. Here are a few reflections on the story that might be useful to Healthy Survivors.
Loss of ability to recognize dying: NYTimes journalist Denise Grady described the little girl "on a ventilator, unconscious and swollen almost beyond recognition, surrounded by friends and family who had come to say goodbye." Survival associated with images such as these become ingrained in our collective consciousness, making it difficult to recognize dying or to let go of hope of finding a treatment that can rescue a dying loved one.
Living treatments: “These T-cells are living drugs. With a pill, you take it, it’s eliminated from your body and you have to take it again.” But T-cells, he said, “could potentially be given only once, maybe only once or twice or three times.” The notion of "living treatment" is thrilling. The monoclonal antibodies I received in 1998 continued to work on my tumors for well over a year after the last dose, as verified by continued improvement in my scans.
More reflections coming in my next post.