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A Year and Four Months of Chemo, And Now It's Over A Year and Four Months of Chemo, And Now It's Over

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  #1  
Unread 07-22-2004, 09:59 PM
A Year and Four Months of Chemo, And Now It's Over

I called my doctor yesterday to tell him about a pain I've had in my leg that my dad said might be a clot, and also to mention that hairs seem to be jumping off my head quite a bit lately.

I only have three more low-dose chemos scheduled, so he said, "You know, if you're finally starting to show side effects, let's just stop. The benefit of three more is negligible. You've already received any benefit you were going to receive from this extra treatment. So let's just stop. I can't believe you haven't shown any side effects before now."

(Of course, I was the side effect queen during my major chemo. But I managed the 11 months of low-dose chemo pretty well.)

I told my doctor, "But I had people over yesterday and I ate chocolate all day. I was expecting to do chemo." He kind of laughed at that.

I knew I was going to stop at the end of next month anyway, and I expected that I would have a bit of trouble adjusting emotionally. But the end came early, so I got off the phone and burst out crying.

I guess I feel like I've lost my security blanket. You feel like you're actively doing something when you're on chemo. Now that I won't be doing anymore (hopefully EVER), it's kind of like flailing in the wind a bit.

I guess my body's had enough chemo. Can anyone tell me how their body readjusted after chemo? Did you start to feel stronger? Did you lose weight? Gain? Did your hair grow faster? Or were you pretty much the same . . . only without the weekly or monthly needle pain?

Adjusting . . . .
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  #2  
Unread 07-22-2004, 10:03 PM
A Year and Four Months of Chemo, And Now It's Over

Wow~~~ I'am spechless you just made me cry.....
  #3  
Unread 07-22-2004, 10:11 PM
A Year and Four Months of Chemo, And Now It's Over

For those new folks who don't know me, I do want to add that I'm totally healthy and have had a CA125 of "less than 6.3" since my second "big" chemo last April.

Since I was able to do only 6 of the 8 big chemos that my doctors wanted to do (due to low white count issues), I opted for a year of low-dose Taxol as a precaution. I work for myself, so I could make the time.

I. Am. Healthy.

But . . . I think I will worry more now that the chemo is gone.

Princess -- You're so sweet! Sorry I made you cry, though. :-)
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  #4  
Unread 07-22-2004, 10:17 PM
A Year and Four Months of Chemo, And Now It's Over

Your post was very touching to me somehow, I'am a little stressed with surgery less than a week with OV cancer concerns.
I pray and hope you remain cancer free.....Its ok you made me cry...I thin I need it right now,
  #5  
Unread 07-22-2004, 11:20 PM
Cancerhead

I'm about two-thirds of the way through Lance Armstrong's second book "Every Second Counts". Much of it is about his cycling and races (looks like he's going to "try" for a seventh Tour de France), but there are some good passages relative to what we call cancerhead. He's more than five years out and apparently doing fine. He did kind of bring up the "what happens now" after treatments are done. I'm guessing for him the extreme amount of training he does (which is probably necessary to win six / seven Tours) is a kind of "security blanket" for him. What happens when he really doesn't need to train that much, that hard? Maybe he'll be far enough out that he won't worry or also still busy enough that there won't be time for the anxiousness. Besides, there are three small children and Sheryl to think about.

Mary D.
  #6  
Unread 07-22-2004, 11:22 PM
A Year and Four Months of Chemo, And Now It's Over

Hello Siren Song

Haven't spoken to you before but I generally read your posts - I think your story is inspirational.

I haven't had cancer myself but my Husband and parents and Parents in Law all have.

My husband didnt have chemo because at that time (25years ago) the chemo was more harmful to the person than the initial cancer. So it was left that should he have a recurrence then the chemo would be implemented. He didnt have a recurrence but I do remember thinking that the chemo was his safety net and without having it we were taking a risk! But he is just fine!

With parents and PILS, they had the full chemo battle, but for a variety of reasons they weren't successful in treating the primary cancer - never showed remission. So that is a different story.

You have had so many months on the cancer treatment cycles, that in a weird kind of way your life has been structured around this, and in some ways you are experiencing a loss! OK, a loss you will welcome but in a bitter sweet kind of way - glad to be over and done with, but you also knew the chemo was helping you to get better.

So I think you might need a few days/weeks to adjust to this change, and as your body recovers without the constant chemo cycles, you will soon resume a fully normal life. But give yourself time and dont be surprised at your reactions to this news. Now is your time to go out and enjoy your life once again. You will get better each day. This I know from friends who have had chemo.

Good luck to you
  #7  
Unread 07-23-2004, 12:14 AM
A Year and Four Months of Chemo, And Now It's Over

I'm so happy for you. Wow, cancer free and healthy! Now on to the road of recovery. I only had cisplantin for chemo and then of course all of my surgeries, so I can't help in that area. When you feel well enough, treat yourself to a trip somewhere, or do something that you have always wanted to do. Celebrate life! I know that if I knew and felt well, I would be off on a vacation in Rome!

Many hugs!
  #8  
Unread 07-23-2004, 05:41 AM
A Year and Four Months of Chemo, And Now It's Over

Dear SirenSong......I am so happy for you. I also understand how you feel. When I finished my Taxotere and Carboplatin in May I was freaked. I was so scared that the cancer would come back. Was my body strong enough to fight it off. I asked my doctor if she ever did maintenance chemo and I started Hexalen 5 weeks later. I have to say that those 5 weeks made me feel so good. My hair is growing like crazy, I lost weight for the forst time since starting chemo. I was full of energy. LOL like when I was young. I am now on my second session of Hexalen, I am having alot of nausea with this chemo but nothing I can't live with, thanks to compazine and zofran. I already have thought about when my 6 months of hexalen is over will I be ok. I think that's all natural to feel this way. You will do great I am sure.

Bertha

PS My CA125 is still below 5. 5 months in a row.
  #9  
Unread 07-23-2004, 06:13 AM
A Year and Four Months of Chemo, And Now It's Over

((((SIRENSONG))))

Made me teary eyed, too!

I am only heading into my 3rd of 6 treatments, and I have thought the same thing....WHAT NEXT?

You can still be in control!...You can still be pro-active with your education, your diet, and excersize. You can still make a difference in the world for someone else by showing another newbie the ropes and lending a shoulder or an ear......what about volunteering for some of the cancer programs in your area to help take up the time that you spent at chemo and stuff?

You will adjust, I imagine. You are so strong, and have been thru so much, and I"m glad that you will have some 'down time' from the chemo.

Hang in there....and you still DO have a security blanket, ya know....Your Hyster-Sisters!

  #10  
Unread 07-23-2004, 07:53 AM
A Year and Four Months of Chemo, And Now It's Over

Sirensong

I have always read your posts and never felt I could contribute until now. During my treatments I was in constant contact with a cousin who had battled breast cancer and she kept communicating positive thoughts and strategies for coping and prior to the end of treatment she wrote to me that I shouldn't be surprised when I enter the most difficult phase, the transition from patient to survivor. At the time I thought no way I can't wait till the radiation and chemo are done! Then Wham it was over and I cried for a week it's a combination of fear (the now what) and trying to assimilate into "normal" when normal is a new normal, it takes time. Then I found the gift of cancer, seeing life and each day as special, appreciating the rainy days as well as the sunny days, the joy in doing the everyday things and not having to think of when I have to go for a treatment. I have recently begun wearing the LIVE STRONG yellow band I bought through the Lance Armstrong foundation, I am an instructor for Real Estate classes and meet hundreds of people every week, well, after classes people come up and roll up there sleeves and show me their bracelets and share the story of who they are wearing it "for" Now I have always worn my pink ribbon for breast cancer no one ever commented on it, then I had gynological cancer and started looking for teal ribbon to wear. Then I started giving out these bracelets what I have found is people respond because it doesn't represent one type of cancer it opens up dialog and I have felt a huge difference in how people react to it, my family has worn the bracelets and my children have found out friends they did not know were struggling with cancer in their family asking about the bracelet finding out why they were wearing it and it breaks the wall of silence. I have found Lance Armstrong to be my greatest inspiration when I feel tired I get up and get on the treadmill thinking of all the training he has done and probably didn't feel like doing and I feel much better

Good luck SirenSong on the transition phase everyone goes through it in their own way.

Sorry this was so long.
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