On my way to UCLA on Monday my doctor called me. This is highly unusual, particularly since I had an appointment to see him 30 minutes from then. I didn't figure it could be for any good reason and, indeed, it wasn't.
He proceeded to tell me that he had just learned from the medicine manufacturer that there had been a contamination of silicone in all the medicine of a particular lot, the lot that all of my doses so far had come from. Kindly, he explained that the amount of silicone I received intravenously was 100 times less than the amount known to be toxic to humans but, of course, he had to let me know since it was an unexpected ingredient and because it is probably not generally a good idea to send unregulated silicone coursing through one's circulatory system.
Naturally, I questioned him as to what I might expect, what I should look out for, etc. He did not really know but assured me that any physical complaint I have will be looked at carefully for its possible involvement with this. Bottom line is, he doesn't really expect me to be affected by this one way or the other but did need to let me know.
Later, when I saw him in the office, he half-jokingly said that he hoped it wasn't the silicone that had caused my tumors to shrink. He went on to explain that, really, oncology was all about injecting people with toxic chemicals in the hopes that they will kill the cancer without killing the patient. So, there is nothing revolutionary about being infused with silicone, even accidentally, and perhaps it has even contributed to the positive effect this medicine has had one me. In fact, he went so far as to ask the manufacturer to hold rather than discard this lot in case the efficacy drops with the removal of the silicone. Educated trial and error, that's what it all is at the end of the day.
As for me, I am not alarmed in the slightest about this turn of events, simply because of what my alternative is. Would I have skipped receiving this medicine if I had known? NO! Would I stop taking it now because I think the manufacturer might make a similar mistake? NO! This medicine is not a "nice to have". It is keeping me alive, additives and all, so I have no beef. As part of his legal obligation to me, my doctor had to formally ask me if I now wished to be removed from the trial. I actually laughed.
So, I am now thinking of all the great things that might come of having a body full of silicone. Well-oiled joints? Veins like slip-n-slides? A heart that just got a great lube job? Who knows? But it's kind of exciting to be a guinea pig.