Chemotherapy Indefinitely… WTF

The trip to Petoskey on Valentines Day went as planned. We arrived there early. We didn’t talk much during the 100 mile venture. The plans were to meet with her oncologist doctor and then Bobbi completed her 13th infusion.

The doctor seen us quickly. Right away she told us that her last CT scan improved over the last one two months ago. The liver spot was smaller, the tumor in her pancreas was “undefined” in mass but the head of her pancreas was smaller. Stent open, lab numbers good. She asked us if getting right to the point was the appropriate way. Bobbi assured her that it was.

No worse news is good news. The doctor said, when asked, that she would be on chemotherapy indefinitely. Until the drugs no longer were effective or until the disease progresses. She had no problems allowing her to have what she said were chemo holidays. When she learned how difficult the last few treatments have been the doctor thought it’d be alright to cut her Abraxane 20%.

Nonetheless the cut in it did little with the side effects.I called her nurse and let them know that every two weeks will have to be what’s endured, instead of 3 weeks on, 1 off, and 3 on again. It’s simply too much on her. This has been one hell of a long stretch. Her doctor agreed and said that it was fine. She asked if she’d ever have hair again and the doctor said doubtful, as long as she was on the chemo.

So we go from there and live life by the moment. It’s extremely difficult watching thetreatments impact her. Two to three fair days a week with the rest painful and barely able to walk or use her hands. The emotional toll it’s taken just as painful. Finding the right balance of quality in life is the big gamble and goal. Do you fight it with everything you got and pay for it with zero quality? Only to then watch it continue to take more and more? Do you concede and just quit everything. We know that’s not an option. Bobbi’s in no way shape or form will or is considering that. You want answers in black and white, as the questions asked and yet many things fall into a statistic and gray area. You go from scan to scan expecting to know more and leave the places hearing the good news attached to the bad news. Then trying to make sense of all of it, wrapping your head around things, is a major mind screw on its own.


“Cancer rant here we go . You really piss me off. I’m mad you have the ability to make me sit and rest even when I want and need to get things done. Today I took outside Christmas lights down not because I had the energy but because I was tired of looking at unlit lights in the middle of February. The old days they would’ve been down 2 days after Christmas. Getting used to the new norm and trying to find joy in the everyday small things has me looking around corners to fill that jar of emptiness. Awaiting Spring. New growth, new plant life fresh air. I hope I feel well enough to enjoy those small things. Smells, sounds, feel the dirt gardening. Bring some beauty and be done with this drab dirty snow. This week my heart has been full. Grandkids making honor roll. CC getting compassion award from French teacher for volunteering. Son and daughter-in-law getting positive acknowledged at work. They call them life’s little pleasures. Never quite understood that saying, still don’t. These are life’s milestones that make our hearts smile. The important ones. With news being filled with school shootings, political corruption, and hate try to distract us from these milestones. These are some of the things that make our lives meaningful.

When diagnosed with a terminal illness how does one erase it from our mind. It does not go away it is always present in the forefront of our thoughts. Although at times it is fleeting the thought yet remains, will I see another Spring or Summer? Surgery is out because it’s metastatic. Tumors have shrunk on scans but PC is incurable. When I heard chemo would be indefinite or-until the disease progresses was when I truly wrapped my head around my diagnosis. Right now the tumor is being kept at bay they should rename the chemo center The Hope Factory. Admission one cancer diagnosis ticket. If lucky you will receive the Golden Willy Wonka ticket, a cure on the horizon. That extra fight to spend more time with the ones we love. Plans for a future we may or may not see. Clinical trails? Sure…be a lab mouse to see if it works, and then only the rich will eventually be able to afford it because insurance companies won’t cover it. There are no clinical trails here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan anyways. Watched Mike grab onto false hope too many times only to be let down dealing with those emotions. I think the key really is to find the right balance, not get caught up in the statistics of pancreatic cancer, and live life getting the most out of the 24-hours woken up with. Which really is all about the simple things. This fight is a long ways from being over, but a fight it certainly is. Don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, so hesitant on sharing a lot. Certainly don’t want pity or be felt sorry for. Are there angry and painful days? Hell yes! But we do steal from it some very meaningful moments and memories. Friends and loved ones have all been amazing. The new friends and doctors at the infusion center are bonuses. Trying to find a good taste out of a crap sandwich is mind magic.”

6 thoughts on “Chemotherapy Indefinitely… WTF

  1. Hey wonder twins,
    I just posted a sarcastic rant on the language of Cancer versus non cancer people. Especially us #lifers who have little patience for words like “New normal” or “the little things” in life. When you cannot even make plans for dinner next week because you’re not sure if you’ll have another cancellation on a friends books, and you forget what it’s like to look forward to a vacation, although your friends work and they don’t say it, but why do we sleep in so much and need a vacation anyway?

    I have my hair, so I get many looks and backhanded comments that make it seem as though I’m overstating the seriousness of metastatic Cancer. Most people haven’t the foggiest idea what it is. If you get a moment and want to watch something check out Joan Lunden’s video interviews on YouTube with women with metastatic disease. She has just grown her hair back herself, to a degree. I lose 1/3 of mine, and I get thin. But cancer isn’t chic, and I’m tired. Like everywhere in my body.

    But we must keep on going until that point when we know it’s time to stop all the crap they keep pouring into us and feel good and only we will know when that time is right.

    As the stuff of stars, we are all lights in the sky from before our birth into this human existence and then when we leave the heaviness of our bodies behind and become part of the cosmos again. When the universe was created so all the atoms we see and don’t see, and are what we are made of were created. There’s a comfort I take when every pill hits my stomach. It’s a knowledge that people like the pair of you are in this great family of mine in spirit and heart, and the understanding words of comfort that rise up for one another when we are able to write…we give this gift to each other and no chemo can make that fall out or exhaust our love.
    Much peace,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bobbi, only you can make steak out of a shit sandwich. You have every right to be pissed, you have every right to cry and ask why me? You have always carried the positive attitude to plow through any crisis or situation with you chin up. We earthly beings do not have the answers. I do know you have control & determine the balance between chemo & your quality of life.
    Spring is coming, you & Mike love nature & the outdoors, it sparks your creativity🌷🌼. The love the two of you share is like no other, no one can take that away. I am looking forward to getting together this spring, hanging at the beach a bit, & smelling the fresh air. Love you two😘

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I so admire your spirit and outlook on life. The simple and beautiful things never change. I’m thinking its negative circumstances that can take up spaces in our minds and can distort the view. Learning through you, Bobbi, that no matter the circumstance, keep your eyes and heart wide open.
    Sending you my love and comfort for the painful times.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mike and Bobbi,
    My heart is so with you guys! So much of what you write rings true in my experience with my husband’s PC. He ended up doing chemo for four and a half years, though, to the amazement of all the doctors. They had originally given him 4-6 months to live when he was diagnosed. (He was not a candidate for surgery or radiation.) I tried to write you a personal email but I hit something and deleted the whole thing, so this is the condensed version. He stopped his treatment in Feb. of 2016 and went on hospice, when the chemo stopped working and became a detriment to his quality of life. But I want to encourage you that there is more hope than what people might think. Praying for you and thinking about you often.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Bobbi: So heartwarming to read your words…because YOU were sharing. Your 2nd paragraph asked all the same thoughtful, yet rhetorical, questions I have pondered myself from my “Monday morning quarterback chair”. Jim never shared his thoughts on his stolen future life. But he did talk about the trial drugs and promptly joined. His take on it was this: “I am going to die soon from this leukemia so I want to make a difference. If my test can save one life, it will be worth it”. I am sorry for the agonies of chemo…I learned from it all too well. Your attitude and endeavors will go a long way in getting you through this. Know you are loved.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have no words in fact there isn’t anything I can say I’m actually lost for words 😔I admire your strength,fight and the love you have for one anthor❤️All I can do is continue prayers that things will change for the best .Hugs to you and mike ❤️❤️Sincerely Kate

    Liked by 1 person

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