Going back into chemo Monday after 4 1/2 month break. Feel down.

lindaprocopio Member Posts: 1,980
edited March 2014 in Ovarian Cancer #1
I saw my chemo-oncologist this morning and it looks like I'm starting back on weekly taxol chemotherapy on Monday. We talked about the option of staying out of treatment for the summer and keeping a close watch on my CA-125 and doing another CT/PET if it rises sharply or if I have any physical symptoms. And we talked about doing a more aggressive doxil/carboplatin combination chemo to try and achieve a longer remission next time. But in the end, I agreed with his recommendation that we go back to the weekly taxol that put me back in remission the last time in only 10 weeks. This chemo only made me bald and fatigued the last time I took it, but never sick or weak and no neuropathy or pain or anything. I will again get 3 Neupogen shots also each week, the 3 days following chemo, to keep my immunity up so that I don't need to be isolated.

I could have waited to start chemo until after I get back from the beach (July 3 - 10), but my CA125 went up from 56 to 105 in the past month, and I'll feel more relaxed at the beach if I'm not worried that my cancer is spreading out of my lymph system into some organ I need to survive. I will get 2 chemo infusions in before I go and just pick up after that week off and start chemo again when I return.

My oncologist didn't have the HER2neu pathology he'd requested and so called the pathologist while I was there to see if there is enough tissue from the needle biopsy to also do that assay. Hopefully there will be and I can get those results next week. He seemed confident that if I prove to be HER2+ that he could get my insurance to approve my taking Herceptin. I am still hoping to be HER2-, as HER2+ cancers are super-hard to kill. (Something like 40% of ovarian cancers are HER2neu+, but 80% of UPSC cancers are HER2neu.) The pathologist did do a new ER/PR assay on the cells clumps they removed from the needle biopsy of that lymph node under my arm, and my cancer now shows up as both ER- and PR- (a change from my original pathology), so all hormone-based therapies are now probably out.

I am all over the place in how I feel about my prognosis. I can tell where my head is at on any given day by what I do when I am in the garden. Right now I'm collecting seeds from my spent columbine, sweet williams, and dianthus. When I just scatter the seeds on the ground nearby the parent plant and scratch them in, I think "Well, they're in God's hands; I may not be here to look after them." And when, instead, I make a place for them in my nursery bed and sow the seeds there, that means I feel confident that I will feel good enough this fall to lift and transplant the baby seedlings into my borders where I want them to grow and bloom. But when I gather the seed and place it in my seed box, that means that THIS day, I feel confident that I will be here next spring to plant these seeds then. By going back into chemo right away instead of continuing this tenuous break, I think I'll have more 'seed box' days of hope!


  • kikz
    kikz Member Posts: 1,345 Member
    Good luck with your
    Good luck with your treatment and enjoy your time at the beach, that sounds great. I am having surgery on Monday and I guess I am in a kind of denial because I am not feeling scared yet. It sure is hard keeping a stiff upper lip. I love your analogy between how you are feeling and your garden.

    Luv, Karen
  • froggy1
    froggy1 Member Posts: 205
    Good decision
    Hi Linda,
    It sounds as if you have made the right decision. I think one of the worst aspects of this disease is the need to analyze and make, what you think, is the right move. It's bad enough we have to deal with this, but it seems we have to manage it like a business project, as well.
    There are so many intelligent ladies on this board(you included). I really don't know how someone without "smarts," manages this. Sometimes, I think they are better off! Ignorance is bliss!
    Best of luck to you. I always feel when I have that needle in my neck that I am doing something. I also feel a sense in the chemo lab, deserved or not, of safety.
    'So glad you can fit get your vacation break in. It sure is challenging to create a life in the midst of this. People don't realize what a challenge it is.
    Hugs, Ginny
  • kayandok
    kayandok Member Posts: 1,202 Member
    Your garden
    Hi Linda, I'm sorry you have to go back on Chemo, and but at the same time happy for you that you had the 4 1/2 month break to take it on now. I love your garden story, and that fact that you are so in tune with yourself that you noticed the connection between what your were doing and feeling.

    I hope and pray for you the taxol brings you right back to dancing with NED. Keep us posted.

  • kathryn1
    kathryn1 Member Posts: 88 Member
    I love your garden anology! I hope you have a wonderful time at the beach. That should be healing in and of itself. Let us know how the chemo goes and your trip!
  • msfanciful
    msfanciful Member Posts: 559
    Hi Linda,
    I am just

    Hi Linda,

    I am just beginning my break.

    How long it will last is not as much of an issue anymore as that I will at least have it.

    I too have a wonderful garden that I tend to and always look forward to the day to see the results of all my cultivating. :-).

    In the meantime I hope you enjoy your summer.

    Much love to you,