The ABC Cancer Diaries

A young, American-Born-Chinese woman living with metastatic breast cancer

Back to Chemo Club – December 2, 2009 – Wednesday November 30, 2009

Filed under: Treatment — wenren @ 2:28 pm

Chemo club will begin at 11:00 am at the usual spot. Remember that the timing is approximate. I have a doctor’s appointment beforehand at 9:45 am, but experience has shown that we usually wait anywhere from an hour or an hour and a half for chemo. Also, now we have Bananagrams to help pass the time!!


Cancer Lounge November 29, 2009

Filed under: Articles of interest — wenren @ 1:26 am

Just got back from a nice Thanksgiving — feeling pretty full, and saw this article in the NY Times. It’s another window into the world of living with cancer. It is about the recreation center at MSKCC, where cancer patients get to pass the time without thinking about their illness. I’ve been there once to attend a “Look Good, Feel Better” workshop that the American Cancer Society sponsors. Basically you get a lot of nice, free makeup!

Anyhow, after reading the article it made me think about all the waiting you have to do as a cancer patient, and this past Thanksgiving we bought the Bananagrams game and it was fun to see all the relatives madly trying to get their crossword puzzles together. I like the game, but my husband always wins!

Here’s the link to the article and hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!

Cancer Lounge


Chemo Break! November 18, 2009

Filed under: Treatment — wenren @ 7:51 pm

Yay! I finally got word from my oncologist that it would be okay to skip this week’s treatment until after Thanksgiving. Next week was my off week anyway, and I have just been having a miserable time with this cold thing. I am taking antibiotics and have been coughing, so now my voice is nice and husky.

These past few days have made me a bit stir crazy because I wasn’t so sick that I was laid up in bed, but not well enough to do the normal things I like to do. And exercising helps me feel less anxious and it is hard to get exercise when you are coughing all the time!!

Anyway, I am glad to have a chemo break, so I may actually enjoy my weekend, and be ready for the Turkey day madness!

In the meantime, I will try my best not to get sick again!! And if you are sick, no offense but STAY AWAY!


Chemo moved to Friday (11/20)- For now. November 17, 2009

Filed under: Cancer sucks big time — wenren @ 10:24 pm


So, won’t be going to chemo tomorrow because I am still sick with a cold/flu thing. Actually I don’t know what it is exactly, but it is making me miserable. The nurse at MSKCC said, “Well if you feel like coming in you could.” Who wants to feel worse?! I can’t think of anything worse than having chemo than being sick with a cold AND having chemo.

Anyway, it is tenatively scheduled for Friday at 11:15 am. No chemo until after Turkey Day!!! But I am secretly hoping that my oncologist will let me skip a treatment this week. Next week, I am supposed to be off anyway…

I am tired of seeing doctors!!


Colds and Chemo November 16, 2009

Filed under: Treatment — wenren @ 3:15 pm

So, I have been out of commission for the past few days due to a bad cold. I was somewhat functional when taking Claritin and Tylenol, but all in all it was pretty miserable. Today I feel a bit better, and will try to get some piano practicing in. (I haven’t done any in a few days and feel guilty.) But having a cold and being on chemo just sucks. I basically tried to rest alot, and would medicate myself to sleep. It started with that dreaded sore throat (all of my colds seem to start this way), and I actually felt fine for a couple of days, but it was too good to be true. It morphed into a full on cold by Friday and my head would hurt when I leaned over, and coughed.

I am hoping that I can get better in time for chemo! That sounds funny. But I don’t want to miss this week because next week I will get my chemo break, and it would be nice to get that break during Thanksgiving.

So, if you want to visit, be sure to check in first, but my chemo is tentatively scheduled for this Wednesday (November 18th) at 10:00 AM at 300 East 66th Street, 3rd floor.


Just Another Day at the Cancer-Office November 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — wenren @ 3:10 am

Today I had my usual chemo treatment. Since my last scans were stable, my oncologist is keeping me on the good ole’ Taxol/Avastin until further notice. So I had an early appointment with a gynecologist at 8:15 am (I was the first appointment) and then my chemo at 9:30 am. I still had to wait until nearly noon to get into the chemo room!

The nurse apologized and said that when she worked in a private office and handled all the chemo herself, people never, NEVER waited. But because MSKCC is so big, they have so many protocols. (One of the protocols is that they ask you to state your full name and birthday dozens of times to make sure they are not giving the wrong person treatment or doing the wrong procedure. So even if I know the nurse, she will say “Hi W, how are you, what is you name and date or you know the drill. “) She also maintained that the wait is never due to a lack of rooms. She said she has had days when two hours go by without patients, and then everyone comes at once. Sometimes it’s the pharmacy, or the doctors (they have to put the orders in), or sometimes its the patients (who are late or just come when they want to.) I guess I have to just accept the waiting as part of the job. I suppose I can at least bring it up with my oncologist and see if there is a way to speed things up a bit. I have always said that having cancer is like having a part time job, which is also why I feel like it is difficult to work — not to mention having days when I don’t feel so well. Well, my day began at 7 AM and I got home at 3:00 pm, so that certainly seems like enough hours equivalent to a job. In one of the waiting rooms today I saw a sign “We have games.” I think this is supposed to help you pass the time. Though, I also feel that it is somehow darkly ironic that the people who have the least amount of time (because we have a terminal illness) seem to have to spend an awful alot of time waiting.

Luckily I usually have people to come join in the Chemo Club fun. We talked about maybe doing a Bananagrams round! Though I must warn everyone once I get my Benadryl I am at a severe disadvantage!

Alright – next chemo is Wednesday, November 11th at 10:00 AM at 300 East 66th, 3rd Floor.