(My Trifectan friends, who agree with George Thorogood that "one aint enough, Jack, you better make it three", provide Trifecta Nation with the word "exhaust" this week. This is called "Trials".)
"We need to exhaust all the avenues here. There are combinations we haven't tried, and work is going on all the time. New biologics are being found. I was just at a conference where a French oncologist was showing off a new compound he was using on exactly this kind of disease. There are lots and lots of options."
Her voice was smooth and soft, like I imagined her hair would be. I wondered what she would say if I asked her if I could touch it. It would probably be against the rules. It was fastened on top of her head in a tortoiseshell clip, and it framed her face with very gentle waves. A strand or two had come loose, and I could see them bounce about as she moved her head. She kept her knees tightly together as she faced me, her hands open and flat on the tops of her thighs. I looked guiltily at the tiny dark triangle where her skirt gapped between her knees. The line of the hem was razor sharp. A pencil skirt, I remember hearing someone call it. Her toes pointed straight at me in her modest black shoes.
"May I have your permission to apply for one of the trials Dr. Patel is running downstairs?"
No, I thought, I've had it. Just let me go. Give me some painkillers and let me off of this ride, and I'll go have a jam session with Kurt Cobain in heaven. It's my decision, and I just want all the foolishness about appointments and drugs and infusions over with. No. It's over.
I looked into her eyes, brown and wide and earnest, and I could see how much she wanted me to say yes.
"Sure," I said without realizing it. I never could say no to a pretty face.