I had 4.25 litres of fluid drained from my abdomen yesterday. It seems needless to say, but maybe it isn’t — the latest trial was a failure. So much of a failure that I didn’t take my last dose and my end of cycle one appointment with my clinical trials oncologist was cancelled. Instead, I’ll be seeing my regular oncologist for the first time in a year. I’ll be starting conventional chemotherapy again (different drugs than I was on before, but I’m not sure exactly what yet), likely on Thursday if chemo daycare can fit me in.
I don’t really know how I feel about all of this. It’s not a surprise that the trial wasn’t working — I’ve barely been able to eat for the last month, yet gained five kilo over the last two weeks alone, I became so bloated my clothes didn’t fit and I couldn’t take deep breaths or move very easily, and eating or drinking often led to throwing up because my stomach was so compressed by fluid. (The fluid, by the way, is produced by the cancer cells, and had been building up over the last three months. There’s probably a couple more litres floating around, but I feel infinitely better with the 4+ that’s been drawn off and can actually do things like eat food again without throwing up.)
There’s a lot of “if only’s” I could go through, but it’s an exhausting and useless exercise. And the thing about hindsight is that it only appears as though we know what the better choice would have been, when in reality we can never know that the outcome of this decision or that decision would be any better or any different than the decisions we ended up making.
I don’t know that going back on conventional chemo is going to do much, but I also don’t know that it won’t. And there aren’t any trials worth fighting for right now, except for one in Germany and I really don’t feel like pushing for that right now. I’m going to let someone else steer the ship for awhile because frankly I’m exhausted and don’t feel like doing it myself.