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Friday, March 28, 2008


I met with my oncologist this past Tuesday. I had a list of questions for him. Most were simple. Some were not...

I asked: "What's the plan?"

He answered: "To keep doing what we're doing."

I clarified: "Do I understand correctly that I keep taking these drugs until they stop working, and then I take something else?"

He answered: "Yup."

I asked: "Will I get any breaks?"

He answered: "Nope."

I persisted: "I've met people with metastasis who have breaks in their treatment."

He stated: "I don't know about other patients."

I asked: "But will there be times that I don't need to be on chemo?"

He responded: "That's a rephrase. I've answered that question."

He emphasized that we are aiming for stability; that our goal is that the cancer doesn't grow. I don't like that. I don't want it to "stay the same." I want the cancer to shrink. I want it to go away.

It is difficult for me to accept that I will always have cancer.

I am having a hard time with the chemo-for-life thing.

Yeah, yeah, I know... "It's better than the alternative."

It still sucks.

I can live with it.

People get used to it.

I'm stuck.

I gotta' get past it.

This is the way it is.

Accept it and move on.

I have cancer.


Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Gila said...

I suspect you will have to cross that mental border quite a few times.... That is not the type of thing that one accepts easily.

Unknown said...

OH rivka...there are no easy answers are there? Obvioulsy being alive is better than the alternative, that doesn't mean you can't wish and pray for a positive break in the chemo.

Leora said...


There are lots of options that the medical establishment isn't going to offer you. Some are far-fetching and quacky, but some have results.

Look at Healing Illness - A Natural Anti-Cancer Protocol. In general, type cancer in the search box in that website for some ideas.

I have you in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

I second Leora's motion. If you would ever like some info in that department, I happy to help.

Anonymous said...

I still remember--We were on the way I guess to this very doctor's appointment, and we were late and my first reaction was to try to second guess what we should have done so we wouldn't have been so late. And you said, wisely, "What's done is done." I think that's how you put it. It made a big impression on me. Yes, of course, I should start from now. Given these circumstances, what do I do now?
Esther (Harris)

Batya said...

Can't help with that.

Sort of like an amputation, never grows back.

Seems like this post is a prep for the next. Your youngest has a different take, since she's growing up with a live, functioning mother, who just happens to have cancer.

Like all those who've gotten used used to seeing my neighbor who decided not to wear the falsies.

mrg & grm said...

Leroy Sievers has a blog NPR Blog: My Cancer which I find very meaningful. This is a tough step to be at. And, like your friend said, I think you will realize/see/accept this multiple times. May that happen to you for many, many years to come!

Baila said...

I don't really have any pearls of wisdom, just wanted to let you know that I think of you often, and always check in, even if I don't always comment.

I hope today you're feeling good.

Anonymous said...

I wish u a refuah shleima went through that with a close family member.

Anonymous said...


RivkA with a capital A said...

Gila -- every day, one step at a time...

Leah -- I do. I wish and pray for a cure for cancer! Or a miracle. I'd be OK with a miracle... :-}

Leora & Ester -- Thanks. So far, I'm doing ok with conventional medicine and prayer. I believe that God is the greatest source of "alternative medicine."

Esther -- I should listen more to my own advice! Thanks!

Batya -- nice observation. I hadn't thought about that when I wrote the post. I had mixed feelings when I read what my daughter had to say: happy that things are "normal" for her, but also wanting to cry out "it *is* very bad!! Still, I'm quite glad that she is not stuck and doesn't see the cancer as anything more than a minor inconvenience.

Miriam - funny, I just discovered his blog yesterday...

baila -- thanks. it's nice to know who my "loyal readers" are. comments are nice too. ;-)

nuch ah chosid -- your comment is a bit cryptic. not sure how to interperet it. care to elaborate?

RivkA with a capital A said...

anon -- yup!

Anonymous said...

rIVKa (just wanted to see how that looks -- usually in e-conversations i don't bother with the shift key at all except for ( ) etc )...

now, again: RivkA,

sending you encouragement, especially the smiling bit.

also a reminder (which you already know): the longer you live, the more likely you will reach a time (be"h soon) when all the research being done will arrive at a cure that will send you into complete remission and NED status.... bimhera v'yameinu.

a in a

RivkA with a capital A said...

What is NED???

I'm definitely counting on those medical researches finding a cure during my lifetime!

Is it called "remission" if you are cured??


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