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.

7 thoughts on “Chemo…again

  1. Ivanna
    I’m crying too because even though I don’t know what it’s like to go through chemo, I know the joy and desire of wanting to enjoy all your moments with loved ones. I hate cancer too. You are strong and beautiful and loved and this will be over soon. You have been through so much and overcome so much. I’m daily inspired by you and proud to know you. Proud to call you my friend. We will continue to pray for this to be over soon and for all the symptoms to be gone. And we will continue to praise God that you are cancer free. Thinking of you…Shannon and Derin

  2. I’m sorry you’re having to go through this.

    I know when the future seems overwhelming, it helps me to stay focused on the present moment. Staying present isn’t easy but it does help when I can pull it off.

  3. Hey Ivanna
    Sorry to hear about the chemo treatments. You sure have been through a lot but if this is what your doctors recommended to kick cancers ass,find the strength inside you that I now exists. Say giddy up and continue to fight it with every fiber of your being!

    Sheboygan Mark

  4. Ivanna,

    We are sorry to hear the oncologist has accelerated the start date for your chemotherapy treatments. But he knows what is best for your long term health and you will battle through this set of procedures like you have in the past. Your future is bright and you have many people in your corner.

    Dennis and May Stittsworth

  5. I am sorry to hear the doctor is ordering chemo earlier than you thought. Disheartening, and not fair. I am sure you want to scream “enough”but you won’t. You are so courageous and you are determined not to let this cancer define you. All of us here are AAI are thinking of you and praying for peace of mind for you. We ask God to guide your doctors through this process.

    much love, Jane

  6. Ivanna,

    Thank you so much for One Rogue Cell! It’s been such an inspiration and a help to me (and I’m sure to many others)! I’m so glad your non-mutinous appendices adenocarcinoma is dead and gone, hopefully forever! I’m just beginning my FOLFOX treatments for my metastatic mucinous (and mutinous) appendiceal adenocarcinoma (only one in-the-chair session followed by 46 hours of portable, battery-operated pumping so far, with very few side effects, thankfully!), but it is very reassuring, indeed, that there is light at the end of this tunnel! Congratulations on your well-deserved and well-earned survivorship! Dr. Paul Mansfield at MD Anderson is my surgeon, too! I wish all the best for you! May the remaining chemo treatments fly by so fast that you barely notice them! Your epic and courageous “knight’s quest for the Holy Grail of healing” has succeeded, answering all the many prayers offered up on your behalf! Good luck and God bless you daily! Randy

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