I remember it so well. The phone would ring and she would talk to Leroy for a few minutes just to see how he was feeling. She never ended a call without saying those words, “Just live one more day.”
Her message, what she was trying to say was, “Those guys in the lab are so close to coming up with something that will extend your life. If it’s not today, it could very well be tomorrow. Try to live just one more day.”
She was fighting cancer too. Her doctors had discovered that her disease had jumped the chemo and they were out of options. They were going to try a new drug cocktail, but they didn’t hold out much hope. So her only hope was to take her own advice and try to live one more day. Who knows what those researchers might discover, right?
Fast forward almost 8 years down the road. In a conversation with a prominent Immunologist the other day, we got specific about Leroy’s cancer. Without getting into the scientific details of his disease, it became fairly clear that his chances of responding to these new immunotherapies for cancer probably would have been pretty high. Certain cancers are shrinking and some patients are watching their tumors disappear. Other cancers scoff at these new agents and continue to thrive.
Bottom line….hooray for these immunotherapies that are working because they can be studied and answers as to why some work and others don’t can be figured out and that’s what precision medicine is all about, right?
New clinical trials will prevail, immunotherapies instead of chemotherapies will prevail, or something else will come along: that’s why we always hold on to our hope.
Until then, “Just live one more day.”