The Long Road
Chemotherapy - Staying the Course
The journey made, the tests would start
Blood to be taken, scans to be run
Pricked here and prodded there
Forms to fill, releases to sign, now it had all begun.
Hustle and bustle, this way and that, with no-one to really care.
Terms unknown, warnings many -- all a jumble in his head
"What does it all mean?" "What is the price?"
A number assigned - you take your place and stand in line.
Believing all the while it maybe no better than rolling a dice
You struggle on not wishing to malign.
Consents signed, test results now received
"The treatment can begin at once," he's told.
CCI-779 is the drug, an inhibitor of cell signal transduction".
"Medicalese" and jargon so confusing and cold
To guard against any future possible corruption.
A baseline they wanted to establish
So intravenously it was first given -
For trials before they were able to heed -
Data gathered, results compiled, paper written
'Indications good', the doctors said, "so let's proceed".
The trial that was about to start was to test a pill so new
Relative success they had achieved with the intravenous kind
But would an oral version small have the same effect
This was the protocol that was now on everyone's mind
And why the researchers were still so circumspect.
The drug administered, the side effects started to appear
Cutaneous toxicity, stomatitis, rhinitis, leucopenia,
Terms long, alarming and conveying much fear
Hyperglycemia, epitaxis, acute hypersensitivity, asthenia
But bear them you must for the price to pay if you did not is too dear.
Chemotherapy is not easy-toxic to the end.
Fatigue sets in, the body aches, blisters do appear
Appetite diminished, nose bleeds come with such force
The alternative in the shadow, always casting fear
There is no other way for you to go
And so you bite the bullet and stay the course.
Thoughts always enter of another place and time
When the body was strong and the dreams of tomorrow filled the mind
The mood now swings from day to day
Temper rages without control, no solace can you find.
You lie awake, sleep escapes, there is nothing left but to pray.
The days roll by and weeks turn into months
You're fighting back, you're holding on
CT scans show all is stable at this time
However, fear and trepidation are never gone
As you know you will never again be in your prime.
It is not easy-a hefty toll it does take
Courage, faith and a will to win
Spirit unyielding, grit beyond belief as the source
To bear the pain and fear within
To go on day to day, facing the unknown
You bite the bullet and stay the course.