07 December 2013

For myself I am an optimist -

Received earlier:

 "   Hello Dr. Wright, my name is Dave i have a 7yr old friend, his name is Gage Driver. He is suffering from a tumor they call it DIPG he's  currently going to Gillett Childrens hospital in Minneapolis, with not much success. I know Chemo/Radiation along with avastin and decadron on a 7yr old isn't the answer. Please share with me what you would do, because it's only a matter of time before my friend starts that all too unpopular tailspin, that has only one ending. I've read how you claim to have a cancer stopper but why aren't people paying attention? I myself have just returned from Mexico where stemcells have lengthened my life, I suffer from a condition called alpha one anitripsin defiecency, This procedure isn't legal in the states but yet yours is, Why sir are you sitting around? My 7yr old friend wants to be president,,,now you don't want to obstruct this countries eminent future,do you. I'm hoping you can find a way to tell me one good reason you can't help us out.  Your friends Gage and Dave "

My reply: 

"Dear Dave and Gage,

Thank you. Your message is understood. I ask you to understand that we are in the process of getting this new chemical entity approved for use world-wide... and yes, there is a procedure which must be followed:

FDA approval (link updated 18 March 2013) 

I have been and continue to advance the 'state-of-the-art'.  With sufficient funding,  this new class of alpha amino acids can be in human clinical trials as soon as Summer 2012. This is all about timing and finances. Yes, many lives will be saved and many more will be spared the consequences of a cancer diagnosis.

Others are also waiting:

I heard about your research from my cousin who is a nurse.  I had no idea I would ever possibly be talking to you.  The word "on the street" is that you are using amino acids to cure cancer but that your clinical trials won't be starting until next year.   Unfortunately I don't have that long to wait.

I had a tumor on my L4 and 11 lesions on my liver as of Sept 8.  I had 10 treatments of radiation on my back and that tumor is dead.  I then had 3 courses of chemo, Gemzarine and Taxotere which did absolutely nothing for my liver, I now have numerous lesions so this is a fairly aggressive cancer.

 I am very interested if you think you can help me, I was extremely healthy until this hit.  I didn't even have any symptoms from the liver.  If it hadn't have been for the tumor on my back, I wouldn't even know there was a problem.

Yes, Dave and Gage, this does work. This compound , (S)-2-Amino-3-(3-phenylacetylimidazol-4-yl)propanoic acid, kills cancer cells - with no demonstrated toxicity to healthy cells. No surgical excision, no chemotherapy, no radiation therapy.
The only impediment to advancing the approval process is funding. I have been doing this for years - with my own personal funds and they are almost exhausted. As soon as funds are available this compound will go to GMP synthesis, CRO toxicology... and human clinical trials (Phase I - Phase I/II hybrid) can start as soon as six months afterward. This compound is eligible for expedited approval, compassionate usage exemption, accelerated review, orphan drug status. Once again, we need finances to advance the process.

Thank you, again. Keep me apprised of events with yourself and Gage.


Dennis Wright "

FYI - Gage died April 2012 from DIPG
Published - with permission:  
 "If I do get to the end of the next part - which I intend to be the last in that series - I won't mind if you reprint it as will be, or in some form modified in a way that's mutually agreeable. I am certainly all for treatments that don't have the toxicity of chemotherapy or the dangers of radiotherapy, but I don't want to support an approach that suggests that a cancer cure may be just round the corner. I don't believe that for a moment. Naturally anything that advances cancer treatment, palliative or curative, I could hardly object to.

 With best wishes,


Reality bites 5b: the sharp edge bluntly

reality 1 | reality 2 | reality 3 | reality 4 | reality 5a | reality 5b

[to finish the story....maybe.]

How does that fit in with my chess game? In chess, as the end of the game itself approaches, the losing player's king is placed in check, and the final trap is sprung when the king is checked and has nowhere to go. That's it. Checkmate.

There is one slim hope for the losing player, and that is a stalemate, but I won't try to explain that here. Well, I did explain it, but it got too complicated and didn't add anything to this story, so a pointless paragraph is gone, and we're all the better for that.

In a stalemate, no-one wins. It's a Get Out of Jail Free card for the player who was going to lose. (Ah, sorry – I've just Monopolised my chess game....)

In my game, there will be no stalemate. Mr C won't fall for it. I may evade his attack for as long as I can, but a stalemate won't happen. I know this because of the signs that are constantly increasing in number. The return of seizures, the headaches, loss of balance and increased difficulty in walking and swallowing, the strange, apparently random tremors in other parts of my body when I'm sitting or lying down; the increasing failure to remember something that was in my mind a minute ago, whether a word or an idea. Some of these symptoms of accelerated tumour activity are not completely new, but the permutations and combinations tells their own story.

It seems the king is rapidly getting boxed in.

♖     ♖     ♖     ♖     ♖

In a real game, the losing player will see defeat coming, shake hands with the opponent, and resign the game before having to play it out to an inevitable and perhaps humiliating conclusion.

Mr C doesn't like that ending. He may play a mean game of chess, but he only seeks growth at the expense of dependency, and the great irony is that his win is his own death. He will refuse to accept the resignation of his host and he will demand that the game be played out to the bitter end.

It may well be that he's more subtle than a mere biological cell-cloning program, and is capable of tiny mutations that render yesterday's treatments ineffective, or less effective than they were. His only intelligence is to find ways past the barriers that contain him and his influence. Don't be fooled; he may well be better at that game than many give him credit for, and this means researchers can be trapped in relying on outdated remedies or approaches and faith in faulty data. But that too is another story and takes me away from this one.

Here's the blunt bit. There is no honorable resignation for me. Our society, for all its multiplicity of reasons, some logical and some idiotic, decrees that the game must be played out to the last gasp. It allows no right for the player to decide just when the game should end, and thus, on grounds of higher purpose, denies the last shred of dignity in the process. And this is specially true in the sequence of events in dying from brain cancer, or other neurological calamities for the organism, where the invasion is into the core and very centre of our being.We are no longer who we were.

I've always accepted that life, by its very nature, is not fair. I go along with that. In the natural world, fairness is not an issue; for humans, fairness is a rather simplistic idea constructed by the mind, and exists only there. If you believe in fairness or unfairness in such cases, then you have the sticky question of explaining why it happened, morally – and most of the answers I've seen to that question are far from convincing. In fact, I'll go so far as to say they usually insult my intelligence.

So to me there is a terrible cruelty, with no redeeming feature, in cloaking the right to a dignified ending to the game in platitudes, specious arguments and blind dogma. None, including bishops and those new knights of the realm, our politicians, have any right to impose this nonsense upon those who do not accept their views. They play their games with our lives; but not content with that, with our deaths as well.

This didn't end up quite as you expected, did it? Me neither."


Saturday 7 December 2013

It has been a very hard, but special day.

Today I said goodbye to my beloved Denis.

He died at 5.10pm tonight. Peacefully, without fanfare, just as he lived.

They say that hearing is the last thing to go.

So loved by so many people. I reminded him of that near the end.

I sang him a lullaby, kissed his cheek and told him "Off you go now". He did.

He was so happy and ready for it to be over.

I am privileged to have been the one there holding his hand at the end.

The last messages I read out to him were from his darling daughters. He asked me to share them with you here.


A Goodbye Letter

Dear Dad,

I don’t really know how to write this – I’ve never felt more clumsy with words. But I know I’m luckier than most because we’ve had so much lovely time together and I get a chance to say Goodbye and so many daughters don’t get this chance.

I guess I just want you to know I love you and feel so incredibly fortunate to have been brought up by such a wonderful dad. You taught me to strive to be caring, compassionate, and strong and purposeful. I say this because I want you to know that you don’t have to worry about me – I feel positive and inspired by the beautiful things in life and I will take good care of myself and stay true to my heart. I will always look out for Alice and we’ll stay strong together through whatever life throws our way – sisters united,  no matter what.

Thank you for all your words on the blog – there are so many lessons and memories recorded there that I know I will read and reread whenever I need advice, to be cheered up, and to feel close to you.

I know you love me and are proud of me. I’ve never wanted for anything from you. You have been the most wonderful father a daughter could ever dream of.

I wish you sweet dreams, Daddy, forever your Little Girl. 

Goodbye, Daddyo. I love you.


Haiku by Alice

Some Moments in Time
Floating through my memory
I create for you

Hockey Sticks and Balls
Daddy taught me everything
Goals I have many...

Spelling Must Be Right
Even on a shopping list
CusTURD was the best!  (that was Sylvia not me actually!)

Dinosaur Project
Dad's help and coloured paper
Came top of the class.

Warm Sand, Crashing Waves
Shiny shells and Cuttlefish
Christmas by the sea

Hit the fence for four
No this wasn't the ashes
French Cricket, Dad rules!

I was only five
Numbers crunching, brain hurting
Pontoon twenty one!

Midnight wake me up!
Moon is out, the tide is right
Fishing with my Dad

Spiders on the floor
Out of the wood, hairy legs
Daddy put them out!

Favourite moments
Running, laughing, stories and fun
Daddy is the word

A pillar of strength
From this life to the next one
You will always be

For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use being anything else.
Sir Winston Churchill