I have chosen a course of chemo called Folfirinox. It's not yet approved in Canada, but there's reason to believe it may be more effective than the standard pancreatic cancer treatment: Gemcitabene. With Gemcitabene, cancer can reoccur elsewhere in the body 80 to 90 percent of the time.
I didn't like those lousy odds so I chose the Folfirinox. The trouble with Folfirinox is that it's much more toxic; besides some very serious side effects, I will certainly experience hair loss, nausea, and my favourite, diarrhoea with constipation.
Since this is a new treatment nobody really knows how I'll react; it will likely cause me grievous harm.
What I do know:
- A port-a-cath (a tap into my vein) will be inserted on Monday, January 9th
- My first day of chemo is Tuesday, January 10th - it's a 46 hour procedure, meaning I will go home with a pump.
- My second day of chemo is Thursday, January 12th.
I don't have my full schedule, but I believe that I will have two sessions of chemo every other week for six months. Unless my body can't handle the toxicity, in which case the plans will change.
The idea here is obviously to go after this thing as aggressively as my incoming health allows. I am sure over the next six months there will be times when I greatly regret the decision to take the harder and more uncertain route.
But hey, isn't rising to the challenge supposed to put hair on one's chest?