On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chemotherapy #6 (of 6) - DONE!

I'm more excited about the rain coming through tonight than I am about completing chemotherapy - it's probably not the end.

I saw the oncologist today and, although he has been pleased with the progress so far, my chemo-marker continues to rise.  We have already begun the discussion on what to do if the CT scan (two weeks from now) indicates more chemotherapy is indicated.  And one of the nurses told me his notes indicated that he's looking in that direction.  The goal is to bring about another strong remission - which would still make both Taxotere and Gemzar useful for the future.

I told him that the treatment decision isn't really something I can make - I have no medical background - but it's more a psychological issue for me.  I've had too many friends go through all available options, then proceed to clinical trials, then run out of treatments and die.  He was reassuring, said I'm a long way from that and have done very well in the last decade (in spite of my five month prognosis).

What's really weird is how much I don't want to leave the chemotherapy suite anyway.  I've been there for ten years.  I started off with weekly treatments - that went on for five years - now I'm there every three weeks.  Because I was stable for nine years chemotherapy was truly a social occasion.  I never knew if I was holding court or having a coffee klatch with the staff, but it was all fun and games and a major source of friendships. (I know, Barbara, get a life.)  I had senior patient status.

I raised five service dogs there, including Demi who still has a cape and accompanies me each visit.  Then Steve started baking for staff, patients and visitors (his New Year's resolution three years ago) which made me even more an institution within the institution (one of the nurses told him today, "You wouldn't believe how excited we get when we see Barbara's name on the schedule,") then he began accompanying me so the time there was an even bigger party, etc., etc.

So.... Gemzar, here I come, probably.... and I'm not even disappointed!


  1. Your spirit is amazing. Hmm, you really must be their favourite "career cancer patient."Glad you're able to be a blessing to others.

  2. Hi - Career cancer patient - that's a perfect description!


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