Chemo 101

I am a researcher.  I will dig and explore and study as much as I can about something I don’t understand in order to learn what I can. When I knew the choices for chemo, I spent hours on the internet researching what they were, how they worked, and what the side effects are, fully expecting the oncologist to ask me which I wanted to choose.

Needless to say, I was overwhelmed. Some studies seemed to show better results with Taxol/Herceptin, and others with TCH.  The side effects were clearly less egregious with T/H, but how could I make a choice based on that, when the goal was to kill the cancer?  I couldn’t be a wuss about it; this is life or death! And I’d still look pretty cute bald, right?

I had no idea which was better, suffice it to say, so I just prayed that God would help me make the decision.  No, better yet, God, can you help Dr. Hui to make the decision? Just let her tell me which one I have to do and I’ll do it.  That would be so much easier, and would prevent me from second-guessing myself for years to come!

But that wasn’t going to happen – she told me she’d call me in a few days to discuss the options and find out which I wanted to do.  Sigh.

Then…I got an email from her with the results from 2 clinical studies showing Taxol/Herceptin with a 99% success rate for stage 1 breast cancer.  She has talked to her peer in the oncology department and in a regional breast cancer focus group she belongs to, and they agree – Taxol/Herceptin is the best choice for me.  She’ll have the scheduler call to set it up.

Such a huge relief – thank you God!

I will start my 12-week treatment (once/week) on April 22 (I tried coming up with a funny tie-in to earth day, but just couldn’t, sorry), and I attend my chemo class tomorrow.  Where the pace of this journey had seemed to drop to a stand-still while I deliberated my poison of choice, now it’s rolling again at lightning speed.  But that’s good.

This is a season.  A dadburn, consarn it, racka-frackin’ dirty, son-of-a-battle strommy season, but a season, nonetheless.

Author: Karen Graton McClaflin

I am a traveler, music lover, truth-seeker, debater, perpetual smiler, beer drinker, promiscuous diner, cancer survivor, mom, Tutu, and wife.

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