All of us on chemo count down to when it ends. We celebrate our halfway marks and rejoice when it's over. Even those of us on herceptin, and who still have 9 more months of infusions feel the same way about our chemo dates - we set them as mile-markers on the road to the end of our treatment. Each one is a step closer to being done with cancer and getting back to our lives.
Three weeks ago, I had reached the halfway point. Three chemos down, three to go! I'm halfway home! At least one thing will be completely finished in this cancer game. I knew that the last three would be more physically disabling then the first three - but after the third, I would be over the hump. The finish line was ahead of me.
Then, neuropathy got bad enough, early enough in treatment so that the doctor didn't want to push through. My chemo regimen changed. Instead of having chemo every three weeks, I'll get a weekly dose for nine more weeks.
Instead of having three chemos to go, I now have nine.
I'm not halfway there after all.
Intellectually, I know it all comes out the same in the end. My end date will be the same, likely March 31. The lower doses more often may even be physically easier on me. I go in weekly for herceptin anyway, so it won't change my plans for Wednesdays.
But the fact remains that I am no longer halfway done with chemo. Instead of spending three more six hour days in the infusion room, I now have nine more five hour days. Not quite the trade-off I'd hoped for.
Plus, this new regimen means extra steroids, extra nausea meds, extra sleeping meds, lots more water drinking/high fiber foods, etc. Instead of every three weeks, I have to do this weekly.
Today as I get ready to leave, I should be saying, "Only two more left after today" but instead, I am saying, "I have 9 more treatments to go."
Psychologically, the road seems to have gotten a little longer. I'll have to reset my markers.
After today, I'll only have 8 treatments left. After next week, I'll be halfway there.
My here and now
1 day ago