Treating Cal’s Illness (106.15)

106.15 SYNOPSIS: Doctors recommend that they take Cal off his cancer treatment to give him antibiotics that will fight the infection and Ben blatantly disagrees. Grace thinks they should do what the doctors say and again Ben tries to explain the situation to her, but she won’t listen. —>

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Grace’s viewpoint

Scene shifts to Cal’s hospital room. 

GRACE: He’s getting worse. You have to help.

DR. WILLIAMS: Cal’s heart rate is a little elevated, which may indicate that there’s an infection that hasn’t shown up on any of the tests. Under normal circumstances, the next step would be to administer some wide-band antibiotics.

GRACE: Why haven’t we?

DR. WILLIAMS: Because it’s not without some risks. Cal’s cancer treatment is still experimental. We don’t know how antibiotics might affect it.

BEN: So you’re saying we have to choose between his fever and his cancer treatment?

DR. WILLIAMS: It’s not that simple. We don’t want to disrupt his treatment, but we’re having trouble controlling this fever. And if it gets any worse—

Ben’s viewpoint

BEN: So, what if the antibiotics don’t work? What if it isn’t bacterial? We’d be risking his cancer treatment over nothing.

DR. WILLIAMS: Right now, we have to approach this from a medical perspective.

BEN: You’re suggesting we make a bet that may endanger his life.

DR. WILLIAMS: His life is in danger right now. And we have limited options on how to approach this. Antibiotics are the next arrow in our quiver. Medicine is as much art as it is science. You know this.

BEN: What I know is my son is sick, and every bone in my body is telling me that the thing that’s causing it is something no one understands. I don’t want to risk a treatment that saved his life just to check off the next item on some list.

DR. WILLIAMS: Believe me, I get that. But we have limited options on how to approach this, and if we don’t treat his fever, the cancer may not matter.

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