Friday, November 21, 2008

1 chemo to go...

I have my last chemo appointment scheduled--- hopefully forever!

Next Friday, instead of Christmas Shopping, I'll get chemo.

It is kind of weird, I can't believe it is almost over. I've been on this roller-coaster since the middle of May.... literally the week Spring 08 grades were due. Everything was a step toward next week, successful completion of chemotherapy.

I have a schedule of follow-up appointments -- for the drug study I need to do an EKG an a MUGA December 1. Sometime in early February I'll need a PET scan before my follow-up appointment with my oncologist February 17.

That means that for the months of December and January I won't have cancer-related doctor's appointments. That seems so very strange.... I've been living on a cancer schedule for so long -- the prospect of not doing so is something I'm going to have to get used to.

My oncologist said that the Mayo's standard procedure is to NOT do follow-up scans etc... because they found no increase in survival rate with the scans. I'm very glad my oncologist doesn't agree with them. If only for my own sense of well-being, I want some scientific proof that my cancer hasn't metastasized. He also says that he thinks people who begin treatment before they feel sick enough to realize the cancer has metastasized, handle the treatment better.

It has been a long -- but also kind of a short -- time. Really, in the terms of most academics -- it has been a summer and most of one semester. Considering how long it takes for us to complete projects, degrees etc... it is pretty short. Think of what you've finished writing since May (I don't mean to depress you :) ) --- that time is relatively short.

On the other hand, seven months of thinking about it -- of reacting to a small lump in what used to be my left breast -- is a long time. What, in most cases, is a result of 'you have nothing to worry about' -- for me was, you need surgery (twice), a port inserted under your skin, a series of infusions of toxic chemicals, steroids and anti-nausea medications. And -- what is really kind of odd, and lucky, it all ended up in one calendar year -- thus one 'annual out of pocket maximum' for my insurance.


Seeking Solace said...

Look at it this way, you will not have to deal with the crazy crowds!

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Oddly enough, chemo will be pretty crowded that day... we'll have the regular Friday crowd plus many of the folks who would have been in on Thursday.