Dan Duran Ready for Final Round of Chemo

When this all started back in the early fall when I found out I had cancer, I had difficulty comprehending what was ahead of me. Of course I was assuming the worst. I thought I would be constantly sick, down and out from the chemo, and, oh my god what if it doesn’t work?

My mind was constantly racing.

But, as I am bout to start round four of four on January 7th (one full week of a few hours of infusion each morning), I look back and I gotta say….this really has not been that bad. And I sort of feel awful for saying that, because for many going through cancer treatment, it is NOT easy, and I fully recognize that. But for me, relatively….it just has not been horrific. And for that I am truly grateful. I have no idea why – “everyone reacts to the treatment differently” is all my doctor and nurses really say. Maybe because I am otherwise healthy, that certainly helps. Don’t get me wrong, I have had a few awful days. The end of round 2 was the worst, with nausea, ringing in the ears, and just being down and out. But overall, I’m taking this all as a big win.

I hope I’m not being too over confident. I truly think the treatment is working. But, we won’t really know until it’s all over and I get a full PET scan to get a good look at the lymph nodes and see if they shrunk back down to the size they should be.

Round 3 was super easy, my worst side effects were just major exhaustion. This I think is because they switched my medication – he had to stop the cisplatin because it was causing ringing in my ears which could cause permanent hearing damage. And I’d rather have to do a little more chemo with a different/maybe less effective med than not be able to hear in 20 years. The new drug is called carboplatin, and it is paired with etoposide, which I was also on before. No hearing side effects with this one which is great.

I’m not sure if I ever introduced you to my oncologist yet – Dr. Frederick Min at Maryland Oncology and Hematology. He’s absolutely incredible. Super down to earth, relatable, chill, super smart. I love the guy. He’s been so helpful through all of this, and makes me feel like I’m his only patient, even though I think he has like a hundred of us that he’s treating. If you have to get the shitstorm that is cancer…this is the guy you want treating you. And he’s in no way paying me to say that. I pay him. A lot. Well, ok, my insurance does. But you get my point. Also, my nurses Patty and Marg are amazing – I will introduce you to them soon!

So, to summarize what’s still to come – one more week of treatment from January 7th-11th, then wait a few weeks for that to do its job, then get the scan, and if it looks good…I’m supposedly in the clear. That’s the hope, that’s what I’m looking forward to.