Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Bernard talks about a new clinical trial led by Dr. Denise Faustman, who is searching for a cure for Type 1 diabetes. I know that people are alternately excited & jaded with this clinical trial announcement. How many years have we been hoping for a cure? My God, we've only had diabetes in our family for less than a year, yet it seems like I have been wishing for a cure forever. There's a constant dialog with the divine running through my mind; it goes something like this: "Okay, here I am at Target and I have to remember to get lemon juice & laundry soap, speaking of laundry jeez I wish Daniel would stop wiping his bloody fingers on his pants legs, maybe I should get some spot cleaner and please let there be a cure for this damned disease by the end of 2008. Or at the very latest by the time he is out of high school."

I can't help but feel a leap of hope in my chest when these new clinical trials are announced. This could be the one, this could be the year, this could be the vaccine. I'd get Daniel in the trial if I could, but he doesn't qualify; he's not over 18.

I mean, people are flocking to China to get stem cell therapy to cure blindness in their children, laying thousands of dollars down on their hopes, on the love for their children. Is it working? Some people say yes. Some people say it is baloney. But I tell you, I would travel across the stars and back for Daniel if there was a cure I could buy, if someone could grant my child health in a vial.

At the same time, I'm working on my gratitude. This is like mental yoga -- where you use opposing forces in your muscles to build strength. I don't even know if I'm saying that right. I'm thinking of the downward dog pose, where you outwardly rotate the upper arms while at the same time pressing the base of the index fingers into the mat... it all leads to a strong arm. ANYWAY... what I mean to say is that I'm so happy Daniel is alive! That, although insulin is not a cure, it keeps him here with us! That although diabetes is a major pain in the ass (shots included) we are managing it day by day, hour by hour. I hate diabetes. But I'm learning from it. Opposing mental forces, making me stronger (I hope).

A kid Daniel's age, who was his classmate a couple of years ago, was killed on Friday along with his father in a small plane crash. The news rocked our house yesterday, and my thoughts & prayers flew out to the mom & sister, who lost both men in the family at the same time. The tragedy served to remind me: we don't know what's going to happen tonight, tomorrow, an hour from now. We have to live every day, really live it, stay aware, notice each moment as it passes just for its unique beauty.


Shannon said...

I don't care how many years pass me by. I will never be jaded when it comes to diabetes research coming up with a possible way to cure diabetes.

If it doesn't pan out, then it was definitely worth a try and we'll never have to wonder 'what if'.

Jillian said...

I'm a member of the I'll believe it when I see it group. Jaded, not exactly. I've just never been that concerned with a cure. My parents never made a big deal out of the idea of a cure, so I guess I just followed suit. (I would make a terrible diabetes advocate/activist.)
Gratitude is key, and we should be thankful for every moment because it could be gone in an instant like that father and son. Sometimes it's hard to remember that though.

in search of balance said...

I'm hopeful about these clinical trials. I know that this particular clinical trial is basically only testing half of what would make a cure, so the best news that could come from this is not a cure, but more trials. However, I am hopeful.

That said, I try not to think too much about it. When I do, I tend to view diabetes as a temporary thing, which I don't think is healthy given the fact that it's been considered a ten-year-cure for much longer than ten years already!

But cautiously, I am hopeful.

Naomi said...

I have to remain hopeful. And Jillian -- you are making yourself an advocate by participating in the JDRF walk! :)

Maybe "they" will come out with the bionic pancreas before "they" come up with a cure!

Penny said...

I'm with Shannon, I'll continue to hope until I die or there is a cure. (I'm hoping the later happens first.)

I have to hope. I don't have a choice. I have a child with diabetes.