And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
At work I have started learning how to write a new type of report. It is both confusing and remarkably straightforward, which means that I understand some parts of it easily, while other parts totally flummox me. I have somewhat successfully written two fairly standard reports, and this week started on a third. One familiar part of these reports is how you start: With the protocol. The protocol is the Bible for a study, laying out everything that will happen from the start of dosing to signing the final report, and it always has lots of important stuff in it that pertains to our reports.
Unless, of course, it’s a clinical study. Clinical studies involve people, not animals, and are a whole ’nother ballgame as far as analysis and report-writing. Alas, my third report is clinical, and the protocol says nothing about our analysis. On the bright side, I learned quite a bit about a couple of specific cancer drugs and how they work to fight cancer. Then, too, the protocol had a section called Serious Adverse Events, which defines situations in which a subject will be pulled from the study. The list of Serious Adverse Events started:
Serious Adverse Events
– Is fatal
– Is potentially life-threatening
– [List of other bad things]
I read that and had to laugh — not because people dying of cancer* is funny, but because of course fatality is a serious adverse event. What could be more adverse than dying?
* Reading the protocol was sobering, because it talked about people with advanced cancer, and dealt very straightforwardly with the distinct possibility that the subjects could very well die before the 53-week-long had ended. It’?s a very different thing to know that the numbers I work with came from real people, rather than lab animals. At the same time, it made me feel a small bit of pride at the work I do, that some day my work could save lives. I forget that, in the humdrum details of churning out reports, we could be saving lives in the future. Then again, we may just be helping a Sponsor find the next Viagra.
I rode home on a random 20-mile-long route today. It looked like this:
Seeing as how I completely made it up as I went along (my criterion: Ride on roads I’ve always wondered where they go), it worked out remarkably well. I found a dazzlingly beautiful lake with a nice park right in Westborough. The wind blew against me almost the whole time I went north-ish, but it blew strongly behind me on my way east (don’t ask how — I just report the facts), so that evened out. It was a good ride.
Please help me raise money for the MS Bike Tour Cape Cod Getaway. Donate today on my MS Participant page.