My eyes sting as I read a newspaper article describing the latest study to come out of a cancer conference, which involves a drug trial that Clark was too sick to participate in.
I slink off to the bathroom with my head down, ignoring my friends at the bar, when I catch a glimpse of his obituary, which hangs on the back of a door at the Black Cat, the bar where we met.
Cancer had eaten away at his hip, attacked his spinal cord, and created a blockage in his large intestine that necessitated a colostomy bag. Clark: i should make her a mix tape Now I live with my best friend, Cella.
We then chose to stop trying to wipe out his disease and focus only on treating his pain. Some days I go to send her a message, searching for her name and the colored dot that accompanies it.
This is a history of our relationship that we didn’t intend to write, one that runs parallel to the one authored by his uncontainable illness. Me: yes more den anythin Clark: I see well, I’d say we have a problem because I love you your love might clash with my love, resulting into a shitstorm of unicorns, babies, puppy dogs, and couples ice skating it could get ugly Me: hahahahahahahhaha and tandem bikes I remember the pharmaceutical names of his medications—amitryptyline, Zoloft, methadone. It was winter 2008 and Clark was taking part in a trial, his second, at the National Institutes of Health.
It’s only thanks to my archive of our Gchat conversations—me from my work computer, he from our apartment’s couch or his hospital bed—that I remember that we called gabapentin his “Guptas.” They were brown, like the skin of Dr. The Dilaudid pills he took for breakthrough pain were “hydros,” a nickname for the drug listed on the label, hydromorphone hydrochloride. Clark: man, my left leg is useless I really hope this chemo helps I can barely use it anymore Me: i know it will work. see you in like 45 minutes snoopy Clark: cause i can’t seem to think of when I can get a nap in BEFORE practice cause when you get home I just want to hang with you Me: yes, take a nap! It involved a drug called high-dose IL-2, which stimulates white blood cells to grow and divide in an attempt to overtake the cancer.
Clark: figure I’ll notice there first Me: you never know Clark: when are you leaving? Clark: k i love you Me: i will get gatorades and ensures. The treatment has a slim chance of success but it’s one of the only regimens approved specifically for melanoma by the FDA.
Patients are typically bedridden with dizzying flulike symptoms and are uncharacteristically irritable or moody. He had a high fever and soiled the bed again and again during his second IL-2 treatment.