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Unread 07-23-2002, 06:27 PM
Chemo's over

Well, I'm finally feeling better from the final chemo last Wednesday. I still can't believe that it's over. I still have to go in for daily leukine shots (until tomorrow) and weekly procrit (for a few months) and that makes it kind of anticlimactic, but I'll take it!

I'm starting to feel kind of strange about it, though. It's like, when you're doing chemo, you're doing SOMETHING. When it's over, it's scary. Like I'm just waiting to see if it comes back or not. I haven't verbalized that fear to anyone yet as they all want me to think positive, which I am (most of the time?), but... you wonder. I just have this kind of "dread" feeling. Is that just cancer head talking?

I go back every three months for a CA 125. That is just going to be so hard.

So, chemo pals, how was/is it for you? Did you feel strange after chemo? How long before you quit living in 3 month increments? Did you have the "dreads"?
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Unread 07-23-2002, 06:38 PM
Chemo's over

Hi Diane!!
I am so happy you are finished and can now get on with your life!!
Ahhhh your post I think has been written by every one of us here. It is something that we all just have to live with now, and everything you are feeling is so very normal. I think you will find your 3 month checkups reassuring to you!! They are a pain, but it really is a good feeling to be checked and know that all is ok. Then you will eventually move on to 4 and 6 months checks I am sure.

So be assured that you are not at all alone in feeling this way, and only people who have been through it can understand.

I remember I would tell friends of my worry of an upcoming appt. and they would say..."well you had chemo" it must all be gone". They don't "get" that our lives are forever changed, and that these checkups and tests are now a part of our lives. They go to the doctor and the thought of cancer never enters their minds. We go to the doctor and thats the first thing on our minds. It does get easier the further away you get from chemo though and you find that you think less and less about it, so hang in there!! happy for you that you are finished!! Wishing you wonderful healthy days ahead!
Unread 07-23-2002, 06:44 PM
Chemo's over

s Diane

Congrats!!!!! I understand the discomfort you are feeling. Getting chemo is surely doing something positive. Being done is entering a new zone that takes some getting used to. I'm still getting used to it. I finished my taxol and carboplatin last October.
Before you know it, your eyebrows and lashes will be making an appearance. Next thing you know, you'll have a crew cut. Then if you're like me, you'll watch the crew cut turn into massive curls. Curls that have remained after three hair trims.
The emotional part is still hard. And probably always will be. Those three months come around so quickly. Basically I refuse to let those checkups run my life. I try not to anticipate them tooo much. At least not until the week before. In the meantime, I like my life to be as normal as possible.
I have enjoyed getting more active in the ovarian cancer community. Whatever that is? I live near Phila and they have an active NOCC. I returned from a meeting tonight where they are planning their ovca Whisper Walk for this Sept. Tonight they were handing out some information about the Dept of Defense. Apparently they just gave $12million dollars to ovca research. Isn't it strange where the money comes from. Anyway, the word is getting out to Congress that ovca is now the politically correct illness of choice. This could mean great things in our future. I also have plans to attend the NOCA conference in Washington DC this Sept as well.
This is just my way of handling something that rudely interrupted my life. And trying to make the most of it. We all find our own way of handling it.
I hope some others share their thoughts as well.
I hope you stay in close with us. I've enjoyed following you on your journey.
Best wishes.

s karenann
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Unread 07-24-2002, 04:45 AM
An Idea--Good Book

I recommend "After Cancer" by Dr. Wendy Harpham Schlessel (a survivor) to a lot of people. I just donataed mine to the hospital's community library. It is for this "I'm done, now what" time. I had that feeling a baby bird must have when it's pushed out of the nest to be on its own. The book was very helpful. "Cancer head" or a lost feeling is very common. All the attention, treatments (as bad as they were, we were doing something), etc. at least gave us focus, a doing something. Now comes that "what if" and "when" but what I say is, acknowledge it, and then move on into your new life. No, you can't always think positively and you'll find people who think things will be 100% normal the old way forever now that "that's behind you and you're fine" but there is life out here and you'll find it. That book is helpful as is a board like this (and another large one with over 1200 subscribers I love). Right now your feelings are very normal. Don't know if you're seeing someone, but a social worker, etc. could be helpful--in fact, it wasn't until after the chemo and retirement that I started doing that. I pushed the HMO for a woman who had worked with cancer patients and got a b/c survivor. Wish I could see her weekly--she's heavily booked, part time, and I can't until mid-August and hope nothing makes me cancel. Checkups--yep, they're scary--but you hear "OK" and that makes you feel so good! Stay with us.
Unread 07-25-2002, 08:18 AM
Chemo's over

When I finished my chemo I was a basket case.

I kept thinking ... ok this is it? I'm done? What now? The blood tests every three months drive me nuts, especially with my type (Granulosa Theca Cell), the CA-125 doesn't even work for me. So they check my AFP's and such.

It does get a bit easier each visit. Does your Onc have you scheduled for regular CT scans? I was going every year for CT scans, but will now go every 6 months now that I've had a reoccurrence.

My prayers to you that you are totally in remission forever!
Unread 07-26-2002, 06:11 PM
Chemo's over

Hi Diane... Horray for you and congratulations. I cannot wait for my chemo sessions to be over...In fact i have only 2 more to go and am actually counting. My big question is,, never mind the doctor visits.... when does the hair start growing in and finally look good.. let me know!! I am sooo happy for you.
Unread 07-26-2002, 08:36 PM
Chemo's over


I can't add alot to what the rest of the gals have said, except say OH YAH!!!! It really IS such a very unreal, strange feeling to finally finish treatments. It DOES get better over time but that's exactly what it takes, TIME!

I've was "graduated" to the four month plan back in April and most of the time, don't seem to dwell on the "cancer head" the majority of the time. Life as usual BUT (lol, yeap and that's a big one) it still hits when the time gets closer to the next actual visit. I don't know when that will stop but at least the panic times are getting further and further apart.


Just a quick response to your question, the eyebrows and eyelashes come back real quickly in most cases, I know they did for me anyway. As for the rest of the hair, I finished my treatments in February of last year and had enough hair to ditch the wigs by early May I believe. It was "really" short but it was ALLLLLL mine!!!!!


Unread 07-26-2002, 10:25 PM
Chemo's over

thanks for the info Diane... cannot wait for my hair to be back.. guess i have to be glad for small things though... my eyebrows and eyelashes DID NOT fall out or at least not as yet, and i am into my 5th treatment in another week. Hopefully they will still be there for my sons wedding which is september 1st.
Congratulations again

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