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The Cancer Journey : The Art of Persuasion

Reposted from May 6, 2010

In my last email, I mentioned I would not be continuing with chemotherapy. It was a done deal even though i hadn't told my oncologist yet. Telling him was probably one of the hardest parts of  it all, that and making a decision in the first place. I procrastinated and left it until Monday when I finally shot him an email explaining everything. The reply was a pleasant one and he asked me to go in to the hospital on Thursday (today) for further discussion. 

As I sat in the room waiting to be called on, I was confident and sure that I was going to stick with my decision. But then came the head on confrontation with Dr Liang and he somehow persuaded me it is in my best interest to continue. 

His explanations:

- there are still billions of cancer cells in my body that are undetectable

- if i stop the chances of it returning are really high (the chances of it returning are high anyways, but it is more likely to come back sooner if i don't follow through with the recommended six)

- if it comes back I'll have to go on a much harsher chemo regiment with possible bone marrow transplant

I was sure that I didn't want to continue with the whole thing as it made my body feel horrible last round so here are..

His compromises:

- we're getting rid of the 'N' and 'D' from my R-FND treatment

Rituximab (R) is the antibody so very little side effect, more immediate side effect rather than future

Fludarabine (F) are oral chemo drugs that are more effective but less abrasive than the 'N'

- all together we are compromising maybe 40% by leaving out the 'N' and 'D' 

My thoughts:

- i can deal with compromising 40% since i'm already in remission and dosage will remain the same for the others

- my whole argument for discontinuing was because of side effects both present and future: now that I'm only left with the 'F' in terms of chemo it should do a lot less damage

- since i've come so far I might as well finish

- the future scares me, i don't like talking or thinking about it coming back because i know that if it does it will be a lot more difficult the second time around

- i feel like i'm letting my parents down and other people rooting for me to stick to the natural stuff

- i've been praying for a clear voice from God but it's been anything but clear

- i continue to thank God and everyone for bringing me to this point, after all i am in remission! : ) 

- sad that it will be at least another 2 months until chemo is done

- happy that i have a doctor that understands our concerns and is willing to compromise

details of next chemo:

Saturday May 8

Queen Mary


Tomorrow I will be going for my vitamin C infusion, I've been avoiding it because the past two times I went have been painful. They have been having a very difficult time finding a suitable vein and many times my vein has popped allowing the vitamin C to drip underneath my skin (a very painful thing!) At the same time, I know I need all the antioxidant I can get for chemo 4, so please pray for healthy veins! 




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