Three weeks ago today, I had the last of four chemo treatments. There will be no more.
When I went to see the oncologist two days ago, I had already made up my mind to quit after four and do no more of the original planned six. I was so confident with my decision that I made a lunch date with Tucson friends the day of the chemo (today).
The appointment with the doc was late afternoon to make sure there was time enough for what was going to be a long conversation. Just shy of an hour we talked. I began by sharing my miserable living with chemo.
After additional talk about the side effects, I asked if there might be some data to indicate how long before relapse after four treatments versus six. He headed off to his office and apparently found some information. However, there was nothing about four versus six. He did find there was no difference between six and eight, but there was no mention of four.
We talked more about any future chemo. I asked about delaying the next chemo for two weeks so I could recover. I don't remember if he really answered that. It may have been at that time, that he said that considering the local nature of the tumor with no other indication on the PET scan and other tests he was okay with my decision to stop chemo.
The decision to stop was followed by discussion about a future if there were a relapse of cancer. If there were a relapse, the doc said it would be a different chemo treatment. Fortunately, that is an issue I will address when -- or if -- there is a relapse.
Closing up the appointment, he said the next step was to call the doctor for radiation therapy. As he walked me down the hallway to checkout, he said that the radiation would mean there would be no more children. I responded that wouldn't be an issue since I had been cut forty years ago. With a few more yucks I headed to checkout.
There was a mob of people at the checkout including one of the nurses who I have seen there on many of the visits for blood draws and infusions. After the conversation with the doc, my smile must have bigger than usual. The nurse asked how I was doing and about the next treatment. I spoke of the neuropathy and added that there would be no more chemo. After chatting briefly she wished me well and headed back to her responsibilities.
Now it is a matter of healing the body to what it might have been before I started the chemo. I am looking forward to food tasting good once again. The digestive tract will heal. The hair will start growing back. I will start shaving again. Soon there will be hair growing from the ears. The wrinkles caused by the chemo will take much longer to soften. There are good days ahead.
Done with chemo. No complaints. Life is good.