Today marks my 6th infusion and my (hopefully) halfway point. Last time I saw my doctor, he said were aiming for 12 total infusions right now, assuming things continue to go in the direction they have been. So I’m gonna celebrate today as a weird milestone of sorts. Happy (hopefully) halfway of Cancer treatment to me!
I started out having my treatment days on Fridays. It was nice because then I could take the day off of work and roll into the weekend like no big deal. It helped me keep my cancer life and my work life a little separate — which was good. For some reason, the scheduling team has moved my infusions to Thursday’s. Sure, i could probably have it moved but I really don’t care that much (and Mayo seems to be less busy Thursday, so it’s fine). It is different having it in the middle of a work week, though. One day, I’m busy at work, the next I’m out of the office for cancer treatment and then back to work the following day. It’s weird when I’m like “oh no, I can’t be at that meeting tomorrow because I have this giant inconvenience in my life called cancer, so I’ve gotta take care of that.” Strange. And really sobering in a way.
I’m excited still that things are moving forward and I’m excited to have another infusion in the books. Up until last month, I didn’t have an “end date.” So this has sort of helped me process it all and have milestones to look forward too. But at the same time, this disease is so damn unpredictable that it’s also a little difficult to remain excited when things can still be so unknown. I don’t want to bet on anything until it’s all for certain. And certainty and guarantees are a rarity with cancer. I have my next scans in the beginning of May, so hopefully I’ll have a better picture of everything then. (You like that pun? See what I did there?!)
I also seem to be having evolving side effects as I continue to get more infusions of the Nivolumab. It’s difficult to pin point if it is indeed the Nivo, as so many patients have different experiences. I Google some things, but try to be careful what I read. I don’t seem to be following any type of normal response, so doctors take note of it all, but don’t have a ton of answers. As of the last month or so, I’ve been battling what I call intermittent nausea. I feel awful for a bit, throw up eventually, and then it all sort of passes within a few hours. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it, it just happens. (Side note: I barfed at work last week and let me tell you, throwing up with an automatic toilet is something special.) I’ve also been losing a lot of hair. Like an abnormal amount of hair. I find loose hairs everywhere and seem to throw away an insane amount when I wash it and style my hair. I have a ton of hair (thanks, mom!) so I’m not overly concerned at this point, but it is something new.
These drugs and treatment options are so so new, sometimes I feel like we’re experimenting. It’s almost like “let’s try this and see what happens” as if we aren’t wagering my life. But, then I have to remind myself that things are working. They’re working so much that I now have an end date (even if it’s a “soft goal” as my doctor said). And today, I crossed the halfway point.