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I Should Be Happy, Right?

Hi Everyone,

I recently had my last chemo treatment, something that patients are always happy about. But in a way it is a double-edged sword. While it is a positive thing to stop chemo, there are some perks that I have to say good-bye to. Chemo perks? I know, sounds crazy. Saying good-bye to the many side effects is a relief, but saying good-bye to the constant contact and care of your team is difficult.

While I was receiving chemo, I would have frequent visits with my doctor and infusion nurse, who kept close watch on my symptoms, progress, and status. It was a very safe feeling to know I was being so closely monitored, and that every three weeks I would have bloodwork and exams that would keep on top of my Cancer.

Now that I am not receiving chemo, I feel adrift at sea a bit, missing the care and constant support that chemo brings with it. I am taking a new oral med, which I will take for two months, then have bloodwork and scans to see how my Cancer is responding.   Depending on how I am doing, I will either continue the new med, or go back on chemo. I am grateful that I only have to wait two months to get some answers and see how I am faring.

Though chemo is not something anyone wants to have, the process of receiving it comes with a certain comfort that I am doing something active to fight my Cancer, and that I have constant monitoring by my team, to support and be proactive with my illness. My husband and I are always reassured when we see my doctor and infusion nurse, as they help us deal with everything that Cancer comes with. My team is always available to me. I can call or email them at any time, with any questions. They are always accessible, and always ready to help. I am so lucky to have them. But I miss those every three week visits, where just seeing their faces is reassuring. It is a feeling of having a unified front, of getting a smile or even sharing a joke, that makes me feel so connected to the support that is so crucial to me, and to any Cancer patient.

My team members have become my friends, which helps tremendously to feel linked with them, even when I am not receiving chemo. I encourage you to stay connected to your team even in times when you are not receiving treatment. It helps to feel less isolated, and helps you to feel that you are keeping on top of your illness, and being proactive.

Until Next Time,

MJ Keenan