Today will be brief because I’m really starting to feel the effects of this round’s chemo, and I want to make sure I reserve my energy to teach an awesome class tomorrow on resiliency.
By the way, if you are interested in the class and haven’t signed up yet, today is your last chance! I will be closing the class to new sign ups tonight at 8pm PDT. The class will be taught live tomorrow at 2pm PDT, but everyone will get a copy of the recording, so no biggie if you can’t make it live.
I was so touched to see how many people offered to sponsor another person who couldn’t afford to pay, and I would like to announce the 3 people I am offering gift spots to: Steve, Sally, and Kerryn! Congrats you guys, I hope you get a ton out of it.
Yesterday I got some news that’s going to make it difficult to finish these next 4 months of chemo. My doctor informed me that at this point I have completed more intensive chemotherapy than Stanford’s protocol dictates—the protocol I’m on is 5 months longer than what Stanford does—and “technically,” if I really couldn’t handle doing any more chemo, I could consider stopping and going straight to maintenance.
Now, this would not be recommended, as I started on one protocol and to give myself the best chance of survival I should complete it—but knowing that I’ve already done “enough” sure makes it hard to keep going.
In particular, my last round of chemo will be a repeat of the worst round I’ve done so far (leading to multiple terrible symptoms and a hospitalization for neutropenic fever). I’m not exactly chomping at the bit to sign up for that again.
I need to consider not just to physical wounds of the chemo, but the spiritual wounds of going through something so traumatic. Yes, I want to give myself the best chance of survival. But I also want to have something left inside of me when I’m done with all this. And of course, I wouldn’t make any decisions without discussing things with my UCLA oncologist, who obviously is going to want me to complete the full protocol.
There sure is a lot to think about.
Anyway, I’m going to go back to prepping for my class. I hope to see you there tomorrow!
Marlene E. says
Elana, best of luck to you in the class you are teaching tomorrow. Also, I will be asking the Universe to give you wisdom in choosing your very best option in terms of the chemotherapy protocol. Tough decision. Hugs!
Tashina F. says
i am sending you every ounce of healing and loving energy I have in me! You sharing this intimate and intense journey has been profound for me, as I have watched my father struggle with, and what now seems to be incurable cancer! Know that there are many of us rooting for your FULL recovery!
Warm & loving regards,
I’m sending lots of good thoughts and prayers your way as you work through another big decision around your treatment. As you say, “one day at a time”…. and that is A LOT. If we all fully embraced it as well as you! Good luck with your class tomorrow!
Whichever choice you end up making you must know God helped you come to this decision. My prayers are always with you.
Nana Adjoa says
Elana, I’m praying for you as you make this difficult decision. You’re in my thoughts and prayers always. Xoxo
Yoni Maron says
Dear Elena . Wishing you success with all new things you create, do and bring back to the world , sharing your self, knowledge and intention. It’ll be a great class !
What a huge decision you have in front of you. I would find that difficult too. May you find peace with whatever decision you make.
I just signed up for the webinar and now I’m off to cancel everything I have going on tomorrow afternoon so I can be there live! I’m resilient like that. 🙂
May every word you speak during your teaching make a difference to all those who hear your compassionate wisdom.
I imagine that so many people are faced with making these kinds of “major” medical decisions and most without the benefit of the medical knowledge that you have. I think it would be so instructive and so helpful to many if when you do come to a decision you could lay out your thinking and decision making process. I understand that every decision is personal and that no two cases are exactly alike but really how do we make these kinds of decisions. I for one would be interested to know how you made yours.
Melanie from northern Arizona says
I’m an information junkie and I like to analyze several options. That way I’ll have peace of mind when I make my final decision. Why not have a conference call, Skype face-to-face meeting, or a consultation with your Stanford and UCLA Oncologists–a team doctor approach. You could all hash over the pros and cons of each protocol and agree to a compromise or a new strategy. You can voice your concerns to both doctors and they can give you reasons why they choose their particular treatments. You might have to talk to each Oncologist separately because of scheduling conflicts, but get as much information as you can.
Good luck whatever you decide to do. You’re a smart lady and you’ve overcome the odds so far. I have confidence in you!
I really liked the idea raised by Melanie to have the docs go head to head on their recommendations until some consensus (or clearer risk/benefit ratio) was established for you.
That being said, let me share with you what my grandmother always told me when i was having a really tough time with a decision (granted, they weren’t as tough as yours!). . . . she said if it is truly a tough decision, then there’s really no wrong answer (because otherwise it would be easy to choose the better one). Try and be happy with whatever you chose. It is easy to forget that when we are in the middle of it. I try to never regret a decision I made to the best of my ability at the time, because of course, we can’t see the future (even though it turns out most of one’s wrangling with a decision is really trying to come to grips with that fact).
Thinking of you and looking forward to the webinair, if you are still up for it. (I’m sure we’ll all understand if you aren’t).
Diane Turner says
Elana, best of luck in determining which treatment protocol to take. Tough choices. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you and your doctors make the choice.
Laura K. says
My thoughts are with you, brave girl. The only thing that comes to mind is “so what if the average protocol is way shorter in duration than the one you’re on?” I don’t really know you in the flesh, but you seem like an above-average girl to me. So therefore, the logic goes, you can endure an above-average protocol if you need to 🙂 I find that an intention to pursue spiritual growth opens up all sorts of extraordinary bodily possibilities…perhaps this is one of them.
Whatever the outcome, just keep bringing the light. You have a very bright one, with or without the cancer thing.
Much love <3,
Hi elana, just a note to say i’m sending positive energy and peaceful thoughts your way. I hope you feel better.
Dr. J says
As always my thoughts are with you, doctor!
Dear Elana, I had a similar situation, although my breast cancer treatment was less harsh than yours. Choices were, skip the last cycle, adjust the dose so it wasn’t so harsh, or continue as planned. It was one of those “someone needs to make this decision for me” moments. In the end, I gutted it out and stuck with my protocol. I didn’t want to be stuck with “what if.” I wanted to know I did everything possible to get rid of the cancer. But in the end, we can’t predict the future. I’m sure you will make the right decision for you. God bless you!