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Cycle 21, Day 81

So I’m back and writing another blog, which means that I finally have news again! Yaaaaaaayyyyy me! And like all news involving cancer, it’s good news and bad news! It actually is a little complicated so I’ll try harder explaining it this time than I did with my last blog. I’m also not chemo drunk yet today, so that helps. So, this will be my last cycle doing 3 days of chemo. It seems my kidney function is slowly trending out of the normal range, and since I have seen no change in my last few scans it is unclear as to whether the chemo is actually having any effect anyways. So I have found myself at a crossroad of sorts, where I can continue chemo at the same rate as I have been, but eventually my kindeys won’t be able to handle it any longer and I’ll have to stop anyways. I know at some point my cancer will come back and I’m just not willing to sit around doing nothing, just waiting for bad news. Instead I am opting to do a minimal amount of chemo, because even though it will likely have very little effect since it’s such a small amount, as least I’m still trying. Some of you may be wondering at this point why it is so important to me that I continue chemo even though I’ve had multiple scans showing that I have no tumors, and the answer lies in a fact that I have been keeping mostly to myself. The reality is that when I was diagnosed I was considered to have stage 4 cancer, and I am still considered to be at that level today. What that really means I have no idea, I have never asked nor looked it up because I don’t need someone telling me what’s going to happen, I believe that’s up to me to decide (if you do choose to look it up after reading this, feel free but please keep it to yourself, or at least don’t share with me). What I do understand is that I am considered to have cancer that is treatable, but not curable. Sort of the oncological equivalent of herpes, if you will. So for this reason I have decided to continue with chemo, simply because I refuse to sit idly by and wait for what is considered to be the inevitable. The only reason I bring all of this up is because while it may seem like great news that I’m almost completely stopping chemo, and in a way it certainly is, but this doesn’t mean that I’m cancer-free in any sense. It simply means that the damage the chemo is doing to my kidneys is slowly beginning to outweigh the perceived benefit of the chemo. But this is nothing new, most of the good news I’ve gotten so far has always come with less than ideal side effects. For example, the fact that my tumors are too small to be seen with a CT scan is good, but it also means we can’t monitor my progress anymore and if we stop and there are still some chemo cells left, then when the tumors come back they probably won’t respond to my current regimen. But that’s sort of the way cancer works, it’s all progress with no endgame, and it’s just something you get used to and grow apathetic about. With all of that being said, I am still pretty happy with this change. I will no longer have to miss weeks of work because I’m getting chemo, my hair will finally grow back and hopefully not be a weird color or be curly or some nonsense like that, and I won’t have to deal with feeling like garbage for days at a time after chemo cycles. I am actually a little bit sad I won’t get to see my nurses as much as I do now, after a year and a half I do consider them actual friends of mine. I mean, you know it’s real when you start following each other on snapchat. I’m actually going to miss chemo itself as well. Life can be pretty hectic and sometimes it’s nice to just sit in a big chair overlooking the Charles, listen to music, and not have to worry about anything for a few hours. All in all, things really aren’t going to change very much because of this, mostly it’ll just help the job search because I won’t have to disclose that I need to be able to be at the hospital for a week or two a month. As always let me know if you have questions, I know this was definitely a darker post than usual but it’s one that had to happen at some point.

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