Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends

January 27, 2015

I’m no Shakespearean scholar, but the rallying cry from Henry V reminded me of what it is like to find out your cancer has recurred, and that once again, you’ll be going through chemotherapy.

I’m no Shakespearean scholar, but the rallying cry from Henry V reminded me of what it is like to find out your cancer has recurred, and that once again, you’ll be going through chemotherapy.

Last fall I noticed that my tumor markers were trending upward. My oncologist at that time wasn’t too concerned until my CA-125 reached 61 in early December 2014. At that point, I went for a PET/CT scan, and shortly after that I became symptomatic, just like I had that first time I was diagnosed in 2011. By the time January rolled around, I was miserable, and I knew the enemy had returned--its armies now attacking my liver and pelvis.

For reasons I would prefer not to go into, I decided to consult and transfer my care to another oncologist. Because of all the complications I had with my first regimen, he decided to try a different drug combination.

I swore after my first regimen that if my ovarian cancer recurred, I would never go through chemotherapy again. But there was something about this doctor’s demeanor and I found myself signing the consent forms for treatment yet once again.

The quote from Henry V is particularly apt for cancer patients, because almost no one fights cancer alone. There are friends, former coworkers, and family members who also mount the effort to beat the aberrant cells back into submission. The oncologist and his staff are also leading the charge to help this patient get back into remission. Fighting cancer is a war, and I need all hands on deck.

Will this new regimen work? I don’t know, but I’m willing to give it a try.