Just like that: my chemotherapy has stopped working.

I feel great. I’ve suddenly gained a little weight. I changed my diet. I started taking vitamins. I’m walking at graduation soon. I’m excited for the summer. I am working harder than I’ve ever worked in my life on school. In particular, I have been working extraordinarily hard on my master’s project which is due in just a few days. I got a job. These are all reasons why I haven’t had many moments free to relax (or to write) in the past month.

It appears that my tumors have been working hard too–because they’re growing.


I guess I thought my stability would last a little longer. I always knew that my chemo would stop working eventually, I just thought eventually was longer than a year. A year doesn’t feel like a very long time.

Every time I thought I was seeing signs that they were growing again, I talked myself out of worrying about it. That tickling pain i’ve been feeling for the past few months is nothing. The fact that my tumor markers have been slowly rising is nothing. The bump on my right side near my liver is my imagination. I have not thrown up or felt really nauseated for months–at least there’s that. Not that worrying about it would have made this news any less unexpected or any less unwelcome.

What do I do on the day after I get this news? The same thing I would have done otherwise. The same thing I did the day after I was diagnosed a year and seven months ago. I get up early. I go to class. I work for a little while with some of my classmates. I have normal conversations. I go see a lunch lecture. I worry about all of the projects and papers and tests I have to do before school is over for the summer. It all feels very anticlimactic.

I don’t mention it. What is there to say?

Having cancer sucks. It was never going to be as easy as just taking pills and getting shots with no side effects forever–that’s too easy.

I don’t know yet what my new treatment will be. But it doesn’t look like it will be quite as “easy.”

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18 Responses to [surprise!]

  1. Rachel says:

    I am so sorry lindsey. I have had that news several times before and you are right, what canyou do but do what you were planning to do anyway. And there is no good way to just tell people, “oh, by the way, my cancer is not responding to chemo anymore.” I, too, find that I just don’t say anything. They will all likely find out eventually, anyway, so why spoil your day by saying the same bad news over and over again! Good luck and I will be thinking of you as we travel similar journies.

  2. Mark Z says:

    That sucks! Maybe you can get some Y90. It’s easy.

    Good luck!


  3. Olaina says:

    If Ella weren’t sitting right here asking to see a picture on my computer, the swear words that just ran through my head would have been out loud. grrrrr….. You can do it! (all that school stuff, the job (what is it!?!?! where? yay!), and you know, beating this stupid cancer thing. Wish I could do more for you than pray, but that’s what I’m doing.

  4. clevegilbert says:

    As a PNET survivor myself I wish you the very best of luck and will keep you in my prayers.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I’m so sorry to read what you are going thru… I know you are a liver and you will continue being a liver. Don’t lose hope, tell your Doctors that you want to try different chemo drugs. Be happy and be healthy!!! You can and you will be able to surpass this!!

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!! You will be a liver!!

    Lots of hugs from NY..

  6. Timery says:

    Thinking of you and sending you a hug.

  7. Paul Glowiak says:

    I am sorry you have to go through this, I’l send some good thoughts and prayers your way. Stay strong, you can beat this!

  8. Saso says:

    Hang tough, Lindsey! Remember, there is no spoon.

  9. Beatriz says:

    Hi Lindsey,

    I’ve been following your journey for months now, and I hate to hear this. But you can do it, and you will do it, because there’s no other option possible.

    Sending you lots of love from Spain!

  10. Matt says:

    Good luck Lindsey.
    Thinking of you often.

  11. Ashli says:

    C’mon over to the Johns Hopkins PC boards. I’d like for u 2 get in touch with Michael-PA. His wife Sherri has been a pNETter for several years, & hers has been fairly aggressive. He’s on top of pNET & great 2 talk 2. He’s a great survival resource. (He’s also a funeral director by trade which kinda makes me chuckle. But I’m weird like that.)

  12. Pingback: What Are You (Really) Going to do With Your Life? « The Worrywart's Guide to Weight, Sex, and Marriage

  13. Lori-Ann says:

    Your courage and your will to live life has touched me deeply.

  14. M says:

    I hope the doctors will find an alternative treatment for you. Perhaps there are other chemo available? This reminds me though, I read about a scientific study a while ago that showed that fasting two days before chemo was beneficial (I cant remember what kinds of cancers they had studied) because it made the normal cells cope with the chemo a lot better, and also, the abnormal cancer cells who usually have increased metabolism and cant respond normally to starvation, became more sensitive to the chemo. It might be worth looking in to.

    Wishing you all the best ((((hugs)))) ❤

  15. Jonathan Palmer says:

    I know you might not want to try anything alternative, as most main stream medicine thinks natural remedies are laughable, but have you ever look at asparagus treatment? I recently read an article written by some cancer researchers that have shown amazing responses by both cancer and kidney disease, the story that stands out was a woman with skin cancer that went aggressive, they sent her home to make preperations and after reading a health paper on asparagus started drinking a couple ounces in morning, and couple at night, (what could it hurt right), not only did her cancer got into remission, but her kidney disease went away, yes, went away. Her doctors were surprised, as was she. There was quite a few more examples of it working for some types of cancer and diseases. If you would like to have the article, send me an email and I will foreward it asap. I really hope you give it a try, if something so simple could help, why not?

  16. Lies says:

    Really hope there will be alternatives. You are a strong person! All the best.

  17. Michael says:

    I’ve also been following your blog for the last few months and just wanted to let you know that I also am very sorry for the bad news 😦 Hang in there!

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