I got a call on Friday from my medical oncologist at MD Anderson. They want me to start chemo this week rather than waiting until the end of January. I have already had a 2-month break for surgery and recovery and they want to get me started again ASAP. Wasn’t exactly what I was planning on. I was looking forward to a couple more weeks of normalcy with my family, helping the kids with homework, feeling good, that sort of thing. But now I will start chemo tomorrow and go back on steroids every other week which messes up my world for a while.
I will have FOLFOX without the OX (5-FU without the oxaliplatin, the drug that messed up my nerves) even though, ideally, it would be better to have FOLFOX again (much stronger). But the nerves in my hands and feet can’t take anymore. The neuropathy can become permanent. I won’t be taking the targeted chemo, Erbitux, so that will allow me to go in every other week now instead of every week. My chemo administration will be similar to last time. I will start the 5-FU on the first day and then wear the pump so I can have continuous chemo for the next 2 days and get unhooked on the third day. The good news is that this chemo should be a little milder.
Rationally, I am thrilled about the amazing results with my chemo and surgery this past year! A few more rounds of chemo should seem like no big deal. But, irrationally, I was pretty unhappy for a couple of days this past weekend. It just feels like there is this other entity inside me just waiting until I’m a little off kilter so it can come to life and take over again. I was angry and crying at the same time on Saturday while frantically raking leaves off our patio in the dark. What? I hate cancer. But I’ve pulled myself up out of that dark spot and am moving on. Six treatments over 3 months. Nothing compared to what I’ve been through this past year.
I guess that’s why it’s called survivorship.