Today I start the 12th chemo treatment of this cycle. If all goes as planned, when Mike disconnects my pump on Sunday it will be the last needle of this cycle. While it is the last for now, there are more to come later.
I have known for awhile that my path is "chemo for life." Literally so. Until something new comes along, I will be on and off chemo. This is why it was so important that my current regimen worked as it is one of the least toxic but most effective poisons. I have a CT Scan scheduled for 8/16 and follow-up results on 8/19. What we hope to see is either more shrinkage or at the very least stability in the nodes. If this is the case then I will get a "chemo break." I need this break for my mental, emotional, and physical health so cross your fingers. For all the obvious reasons. This is the life though of a Stage IV colon cancer patient.
For the last treatment of my first chemo cycle I bought Stupid Cancer swag to wear, I made beaded bracelets that symbolized "healer" in morse code for all the nurses, and I planned a "no more chemo" party. It was an awesome day.
This time though I am sad and I am tired. I hate knowing that in 2-3 very short months I will be back in the chemo chair. I will lose every other weekend to direct infusions, I will lose most of the next week to exhaustion, I will spend those 2nd weeks desperately trying to squeeze in all of the work and all of the fun and all of the quality down time. It is an unreasonable way to live life. If I had the energy to scream about it, I would. Actually, if I had the drive to scream about it I would. Instead I'll just say that it really sucks.
Frustration is the other name of the game. I am frustrated that my "action plan" is just to do the same thing over and over again until it either stops working or my body can't take it and I move to the next chemo. I am frustrated that there are no trials for me right now. I am frustrated that I am 34 and this is not what I should be worrying about. I am frustrated by all the parts of life that may be taken away from me.
The above may explain why I haven't written much this time around. I am processing the sadness and balancing it with as much goodness as I can find. It's harder to talk about because I can't grasp it all - how could I expect most of you to?
So, tomorrow I will have my blood drawn, meet with my NP, get hooked up for a few hours of in-hospital chemo and anti-bodies followed by 46 hours of home chemo. I will make it through the weekend with heavy napping, carbs, mint tea, half a pot brownie*, my mom, Mike, and Netflix.
I'll celebrate a little if my scan results are what we're hoping for, though. Now go and enjoy your weekend for me!
*This really works! It puts me to sleep and the nausea is gone when I wake up!