This past chemo was a rougher one. Many chemotherapy regimens have a cumulative effect and nearly a year on Irinotecan, one of my current drugs, seems to be catching up to me. During the infusion I had more side effects hit and as I described them to my doctor she said it was like I was checking off a list of the common reactions. I have one more dose before my next scan, after that we’ll talk about whether to make any changes – it’s possible to lower my dose or get that drug less frequently.
That said, even though chemo took me out last week, three days later I was able to run 4 miles. I am going to train for the half-marathon distance at the Austin Marathon in February. I don’t like to commit to things that I don’t know I can finish, so it is a stretch for me to announce that I am training, knowing that I may not be able to run the race. I am going to do what is in my power to get me to that starting line, and hope that I am not sidelined by factors beyond my control.
This week I am heading to a small symposium of healthcare systems undergoing transformation. I will be speaking on a panel about my work as a patient advocate and why it is so important for serving your target community. I sometimes feel weird in the run-up to these events when participants are trading bios and most are there due to their multiple degrees and years of work, whereas I am in the room because I got sick and I talk about it. But I have earned my expertise as a patient and really do enjoy sharing why our voices are so important. I’ll share how it went next week!