As far as I was concerned, it was all settled and I was so excited.  I was going home for an undetermined period of time before my radiation.  90% is 90%.  My plans were set.  First thing scheduled was kissing my boy, after that London Cocktail Week kicked in on October 8 and I would be there to sip some cocktails.  Bought myself some theatre tickets, arranged a weekend in Barcelona with my boyfriend, made dinner reservations to catch up with friends. I was planning all the things I usually do before my life was cancer, chemo and constipation.

PET/CT scan on Tuesday, Doc appointment on Thursday off on Monday!  The whole gang was coming to this meeting:  Mom, Dad, Doc Schuster, the two radiation oncologists, and various and sundry people.

My sweet Doctor Schuster barged into the room with everyone else following…he was so excited.  There has been a massive change in the scan.  The scar tissue in my chest had been obliterated by 50% and there is no evidence of the Non-Hodgkin’s under my chin.  Excitedly, he shouted from the rooftops that I was to have FOUR MORE CHEMO SESSIONS starting right away tomorrow.  Needless to say, I burst into tears.

To understand it more clearly, think of the cancerous mass like an office building.  The chemo had killed all the people (cancer) after the last scan but the empty building had remained…now after four more chemos the building is half gone.  They were hoping that they could blast their way through the remaining walls with four more chemos…. which meant less radiation.  It was great news.  My Doc never thought there would be such a change.  Still I burst into tears.  I was so desperate to go back to London and do everything I planned…pretend my life was normal again even for a few weeks.

When I explained why I was crying, Dr. Schuster said that no one cried in his office and he went about scheduling my chemo so I would be able to go home for a few days and to Milan for work…but it would all depend on my white blood cell count.  Only if it were high enough, could I go.  I would get an extra Neupogen shot and then cross my fingers.

I know it is a great prognosis and I am more than happy but after so long taking chemo and having the thought of never having to do it again was a dream.  Although I wear the shoes, dress up and put on a happy face, it still is the most exhausting thing I have ever done and now I had two more months of it.

I went home that night and collapsed.  The next morning was spent cancelling all my plans.  This time I was going to wait until the last minute….

The next day at 8am I was up putting on Louboutins, leggings and a cute top (see above) but my heart wasn’t into it.  My new wig made me feel self-conscious and I was tired, very tired.  I had a new nurse who actually was amazing.  She told me that I should be getting EMEND, a nausea drug which has a delayed reaction, so in three days when I am reaching for the pretzels so I don’t vomit, it should start to work.  Not one to take something new, I balked but she said to try it this once as it is a miracle drug.  The rest of the chemo session went as usual and I went home to start planning which Louboutins I will be bringing back from London for the last three sessions.  I couldn’t help myself.


1. NEUPOGEN:   I take back all the things I said about getting this every other week.  It is a blessing and might send me home.

2. EMEND: It was a miracle drug.  Although I vomited for the first time this week, I felt much less nauseated this week!

3. THE ROYAL NATIONAL THEATRE, LONDON: Their ticket program allows you to return your tickets at least 24 hours in advance.  You get a credit to be used for further productions but this is so much better than throwing the money away.

4. CHEMO: When it works, it’s great!  

5. THE LAST SWIM OF THE SEASON:  The summer is over but that last swim was divine and I shall miss it as Autumn is now upon us.

2 thoughts on “BACK TO THE GRIND

  1. Germana says:

    I discovered your Blog reading “Vanity Fair” (Italian issue) and if the first time was only for curiosity that I read what you wrote , now I read your blog because I really want to know how are you; you’re a warrior and I really admire you . And I love your shoes of course….In Italy we say “In Bocca al lupo!” that sounds like “Good luck!” ;
    take care, ciao da Germana Ciaramitaro

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