Possibly Not

After the month long screening process and colonoscopy in 2015, we headed to see GI#6, who declared that I had “the worst colon” she “had ever seen”. My friend and I sat down with the coordinator for the trial, all anticipating good news. The coordinator was just as chipper as we were to finally have the month of pre-screening behind and turn the page to the next chapter of my care. I gave her the electronic journal to download, she called to speak with the trial consultants about my case and, following a sudden, frantic look, asked us into another room; we waited, knowing circumstances were not looking favorable. After what seemed an eternity, GI#6 plus the coordinator came in, both of their demeanors had taken a 180. GI#6 relayed that I did not qualify for the trial – I had been denied.

Both exclaimed that they had never had a patient be denied entry into a clinical trial and the reason they were given from the pharmaceutical company what that I “was too sick.” Again, the adage of “this normally doesn’t happen” happened. We all four teared, knowing the magnitude of such a decision, and how extreme I really must be for this ruling. Apparently, pharmaceutical companies shy from the chance of having to report a death during one of their trials.

I don’t remember much after that, other than my friend holding me close, reassuring himself as much as me that we would find a way. I was stunned, he was stunned, and my team was stunned. GI#6 composed herself and launched a plan to get me better, writing a script for a biologic I had not yet tried, gathering and signing the paperwork for patient assistance with this expensive biologic, before sending us home to share the good news with my parents. Well, at least we had a place to begin now.

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