Sometimes your scans come back with less than good results; “progression” is occurring, which means your cancer is growing or has spread elsewhere. In the case of my own journey, I was quickly flunking out of chemo regimens! My response from the first regimen of chemo – FOLFOX – was fantastic after the first six infusions. I remember feeling on top of the world when my oncologist walked into the room with a huge grin telling me “Good response!”; my eyes were wide open and dilated in ecstasy! At the time both myself and the oncologist agreed to continue with the same treatment plan with no breaks or reductions in strength. However, an additional six treatments later my scans showed a result that chilled my body to the bond.
I am a dual-citizen of America and New Zealand. Pre-diagnosis I was living what felt like a well-balanced life in Brooklyn, New York. I spent half the week working as a private tutor for high schoolers, teaching kids grammar, the art of the essay, and some smatterings of history, French, and German. The other half of the week, I pursued my own reading and writing projects. For leisure, there was some CrossFit, some yoga, haunting natural wine bars, and highly competitive board game nights with friends.