This is the second time I am writing this blog post. The first time I wrote this, in spite of the fact that I saved the draft multiple times, the draft "disappeared." I hope I can still capture the level of frustration I was feeling when I started the original post.
I completed cycle 5 of my chemotherapy on Friday of last week. It took much longer for me to get over the side effects from the treatments of the previous week (cycle 5.2). With previous cycles I was able to have a day or two of decent days between the Cisplatin treatment and the intraperitoneal Taxol treatment on day 8. There was no reprieve during cycle 5.
I felt a tremendous amount of anxiety in the days leading up to treatment. I actually began to consider skipping the last cycle of treatment. I spent a significant amount of time reaching out to other ovarian cancer patients and survivors to get their opinions. I also did a lot of research on the internet to see if I could find any research that could tell me the risk involved with skipping that last cycle of treatment. I wasn't able to find any research to support my decision, and the patients I reached out to encouraged me to speak with the nurses at my oncologist's office to get their opinion.
When I arrived at the doctor's office on Friday, after the nurse drew the blood for my regular blood test, I told her I was really considering skipping the last cycle of treatment. She asked me why. I told her that I was "sick and tired of being sick and tired." After my blood work came back, she told me there was no physical reason for me to stop treatment. She said that many IP patients have the same feeling at this point in their treatment. After reflecting on our conversation, I realized I had hit "the wall" in my treatment. This is very similar to what happens to me during a long run. During my last half marathon, at about mile 10, I didn't think I could physically go any further. But I had come so far that I didn't want to give up. I guess I need to look at completing my treatment the same way.
I started a countdown. It is on my Facebook page. One of my students asked me how many days I had left. When I responded, he wrote the number of days on the white board at the front of my classroom. I have been updating it every day. As of today I have 17 days left until my treatment is completed!