All week, I had this nagging feeling about my impending appointment with the oncologist. Hard as I tried, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the new treatment I was on wasn’t working as hoped.
I got to the appointment and all the chairs at the reception were filled apart from the ones we sat on when we found out about the recurrence. I am not usually one to think much of this but for some reason, I freaked out a bit about this. The oncologist was running about an hour late and the two times I say his nurse, she couldn’t make eye contact with me. This might have been in my head but it all just solidified my worries about what was coming.
I was finally called in for my appointment an hour after the scheduled time by a nurse I hadn’t seen before. We got in to the consulting room and she asked how I was tolerating the chemo I was on. I replied that I wasn’t on chemo and she said “oh”. In retrospect, that was the first actual indication of what was coming.
The oncologist came in and apologized for being late. We had a quick chatter about the holidays before he proceeded to let me know the new treatment wasn’t working as expected. Not only were the spots in the bone bigger, two new pleural metastases measuring 1.6cm each had developed in the hemithorax. A lymph node in the chest that was previously measuring 2.2 * 1.6cm was now measuring 3.3 * 2.8cm. What this meant in effect was that the new treatment wasn’t working and the cancer has progressed.
As much as I had worries about what to expect, nothing prepares you for the news that the treatment you are on isn’t working especially for the second time in a row. Since we’ve tried two hormonal therapies with no results, the oncologist suggested that our next course of action would be to start chemo – BOO!!!!! I really hoped to stay off chemo for a while longer but it’s what it is and I guess I’m lucky to still have options.
It’s scary that in the nine months since we found out about the recurrence, I haven’t had a great response to treatment. We are now down to chemo and I have no idea how many more options are available to me. I will be on a 4-weekly cycle where I will have treatments for 3 consecutive Fridays and get a break on the 4th week. My first treatment is next Friday There’s more information on taxol here . The page provides information on the drug and possible side effects.
I’ve had a couple of people ask me how I am feeling and I am not sure how to respond. Sad, numb, scared, defeated, freaked out, angry are probably a few of the overriding emotions. I don’t want to talk about my feelings cos the truth is, I am angry. I am angry that this is my life. I am angry that life isn’t fair. I am angry about every thing I have lost so far and the fact that none of those makes a difference where this disease is concerned. I am angry that I do not get a ray of hope to hold on to. I am angry that being positive and praying to God for some good news hasn’t made a difference. I am angry with the world and that scares the hell out of me!