Eularee Smith
Writer & Educator

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Change of Plans

If there is one thing life is full of, it's change of plans. What's that they say? Life is what happens while you are making plans. I have my schedule full of Plan B, C, D, that now I am resorting to XYZ!

CT scan results this week show that I have crossed the threshold of progression to keep me on the drug study. As of Tuesday, September 6th, I am officially off the study. To say I am disappointed would be an understatement. I am struggling with feelings of failure and apprehension. Trying to keep my apologies to a minimum as I find myself with an overwhelming sense of letting my famiily, my friends and my readers down. I present a picture of strength and warrior like stamina. It seems there are larger chinks in the armor than I care to admit.

Enough! This is not a setback. It is a change of plans. Although discouraged, I will take this change of plans as my own progression forward. The Keytruda did not work for me. My doctor believes it kept the cancer in check, but not enough to force remission. Hopefully there is some good evidential research that comes from my experience that will indeed move immunotherapy in the right direction for ovarian cancer. But right now, I have done my bit for cancer research and need to clear the decks for this new plan. Chemo.

After Dr. Anderson said, you are off study, all I heard was "blah, blah", similiar to what Charlie Brown hears when the teacher is talking. He did, however, reassure me that once he sits down with me and shows me the pictures, he is confident that I will see that this is not a bad thing. Spoken like someone on the other side of the chemo chair. On the other hand, for whatever reason, I am feeling better than I have in months. Whatever else happened in the study, for that I am grateful. Perhaps it was what I needed to get back into the chemo chair. Time to heal. Time to believe. Time to gear up for plan XYZ.

So stick around. I have much left to do and have every intention of showing Cancer this is not over by a long shot. To Jimmy Carter and for all those that the drug has worked successfully, thank you for blazing the trail. Immunotherapy is the new face of cancer. For our children's children perhaps, but the fight is clearly moving in our favor.

Checking out the blessings today...I can have grapefruit juice again! Bought a case and using it to celebrate! Antacids are back on the medicine shelf! No CT scans every 6 weeks! There are moments when you reflect on what is good about game plans changing. That is my new focus.

My friend, Ellen, sent me this t-shirt, not knowing what my day had been. I wear it proudly, ready to do battle with my nemesis. Now, let's roll up our sleeves and get on with it.

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