Cancer is Crap: Unstoppable Dr. Detroit
Rethink is proud to republish the original blog posts of Leanne Coppen first featured by Chatelaine. Leanne passed away in 2011 from metastatic breast cancer and we are honoured that her friends and family have allowed us to share her words here on the Rethink blog.
APRIL 19, 2010 · 7:41 PM
Just before the weekend I heard from Dr. Detroit and according to her, there has been a delay in my starting treatment with the Karmanos Centre clinical trial because “we are still waiting for the Canadian government to approve your treatment here.”
Um, yeah … Approval from the Canadian government…for my treatment in the U.S. Pardon me?
First of all, that’s just what you need when you’re desperately awaiting life-saving treatment: a gargantuan bureaucratic behemoth squatting in your path and waylaying the approval process. Second, what in the holy bejeesus could the Canadian government be approving, since we are paying for every penny of my treatment ourselves? And which branch of the government? And at which level – Provincial? Federal?
I shared the e-mail with my family and we did a lot of looking at each other and blinking in utter confusion at the total absurdity of the Canadian government’s involvement. As far as I’m concerned my government lost its say in my treatment right around the time I was told that they couldn’t do anything more for me and I had better look into clinical trials for experimental treatment options. Which of course I did. And now they’re holding me up?
We’re all totally stymied, and I vow to get to the bottom of this Big Brother-esque mystery just as soon as I can devote some energy to it. At the moment however, my focus has to be on regaining my strength and appetite after a weekend of adjusting to the new painkillahs.
Actually, the main reason I’m not banging down doors for answers ( other than having no idea upon which doors to bang) is that I don’t have to; Dr. Detroit went on to say that as an alternative to the delay they are opening a compassionate use trial for me that is monotherapy (which is how the drug will be FDA approved in the U.S.) She says they anticipate it opening up in a few weeks.
Okay so how’s that for a doctor? Something gets in her way- something like, oh I don’t know … a government – and she just goes around it to come up with another solution to get me the treatment I need in a timely manner! And not just the treatment I need, but the dose at which it will be approved when it goes to market. In other words, the dose that worked for people in clinical trials! She’s like the superhero of oncologists – she should be wearing a cape, not a lab coat.
We can’t celebrate yet — I still need to hear that they have been successful in opening the monotherapy compassionate trial, and of course that my government hasn’t stopped up the process any further. And until then, I need to do my part and stay in good enough health to make it to the new start date in a few weeks. I think I can do this. I have to.
Hold on Detroit, I’m coming!