Thursday, September 9, 2010

Coming Out of The Holding Pattern

I first learned the concept of "a holding pattern" while flying into O'Hare. Due to a lack of runway space, or gates, we'd circle above the airport, waiting for when we'd be taken out of a holding pattern and permitted to land. I have found the term useful to describe my medical situation over the past several months. While I waited to find out the availability and possibility of a promising clinical trial, I made the decision to put my current treatment plan on hold, taking advantage of my remission. With that aspect of my life in a holding pattern, I was able to plunge swiftly and fully ahead with other opportunities and was thrilled and grateful to do so.
But unfortunately, like so often at O'Hare, my plan(e) has been diverted. My most recent scans showed an aggressive return in some new places and some where the cancer has been before. I immediately talked with my oncologists in Chicago and Washington, who walked me through the course of chemotherapy treatment that they and I agreed is the best of my available options. It is IVEG, which is not only an apt description of my new dietary preferences as well as my recreational habits post-chemo, but also a hybrid of three drugs that I have had before in different regiments: Gemcitabine, Ifosfamide, Navelbine (also known as Vinorelbine, hence the "V"). Evidently, the "E" doesn't mean anything.
The plan is to do 2 cycles, and then re-stage with scans. If I am in remission, then we will do an additional cycle, then hopefully proceed straight into the transplant. It is a three-week cycle, with one 4-day treatment at the beginning. Needing to move quickly, but wanting the opportunity to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, I am beginning cycle 1 tomorrow Friday, September 10. If things go as planned, I will be in the hospital on Friday through Monday or Tuesday. I will be on the 2nd floor of the Bles building at Georgetown University Hospital starting Friday and would love visitors. Feel free to call or email me, or my sister.
Shanah Tovah to those of you celebrating the new year today.


Harboring thoughts said...

Wishing you only apples and honey through these cycles of chemo. Know that so many are with you on this trip.

Love the new layout of the page, but nothing tops your insight and your writing.

May 5771 bring you peace and health.

Elissa said...

Thank you, Nancy! Shanah Tovah to you and your family.

Suburban Sweetheart said...

Thinking of you & sending positive vibes your way. See you soon.

Christine said...

We are thinking of you! And so appreciative of your blog and amazing writing. You are so courageous! My family and I are thinking of you in this new year. Hugs from the Steel City! Xoxo C

Meredith and Adam said...

Love and hugs from Minnesota!