Chemo No Mo

Yesterday was my last day of chemo! It came in the form of my weekly push of bleomycin and it felt glorious. My nurse for the day, Sita, had to hunt to find a last viable vein (most of them from my elbows down have sclerosis from the cisplatin chemo) but, being the vein whisperer, she found a good one on the side of my hand. In came my steroids followed by the last drops of chemotherapy.

The only part that didn’t feel good about leaving the chemo barn yesterday was saying goodbye to all of the chemo nurses.  They not only have the technical end of their jobs nailed but take what can be an unpleasant experience and inject strong doses of warmth, care, respect, wisdom and laughter. Pictured below are Sita (the vein whisperer), Edy, some bald dude, and Julie. They are the best.nurses

After we left MSK, KR took me out for a celebratory pizza dinner which I have admittedly been looking forward to way too much. As part of my dietary routine we have cut out/down sugars and anything made with flour (especially white flour) which has removed the two best culinary legacies of NYC: bagels and pizza. But not last night. Last night we partied like it was 1999 (I think KR had two slices).pizza

So where do we go from here? For now, we wait. Ideally my tumor marker will get to 10 or so in the next 4-8 weeks at which point I will likely undergo RPLND surgery. My marker was 124 yesterday which is a helluva a lot better than where it started (210,000) but, given the logarithmic decline and it’s tendency to flatten out towards the end, it’s a long way from the target. The rate dipped significantly in the last period compared to the prior but hopefully this is just a fluctuation. I have a CAT scan on Thursday of this week which will provide more insight on the course of treatment but, while fairly major surgery, RPLND seems like ultimately a safer option than simple observation.

It feels a little scary to be moving out of the efficacy range of chemo with remaining movement needed on the marker but I am grateful for the work it has done and know we will get there. I am continuing my practice of yoga, meditation, reiki, massage and qi gong which I know will help in combination with all the love, thoughts, prayers and support from you all. Thank you.


  1. Getting caught up. Sooooo happy to see you are doing well! Keep it up Jay and Co.!

  2. Last night on the river Ganges I released a lit candle surrounded by little yellow marigolds…

    Farewell cancer.

  3. BADA BING! AND pizza!! YOU DA MAN! <3

  4. All I can say is: You-da-man.
    love ya and CONGRATS.

  5. I got this update during the encore of a klezmer concert and, uncharacteristically, kept reading it on my phone as the clarinet played strange and ancient bittersweet melodies of redemption. Meditations and salutations on that number (and bringing it down, erasing it) from down south on the wings of Andy Statman. And that before-pizza face is priceless, you look like a cartoon wolf!

  6. Dear Jay, this is wonderful. You are so inspiring. This attitude of gratitude is part of your own ‘healing medicine bag’
    Love & Bright Bridget blessing,

  7. Mark Hanson says:

    Dear Jay, I am so happy that I signed up for your post, Your attitude it uplifting. And I love the before and after pizza pictures. Sending good thoughts, Cousin Mark

    Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2013 23:39:13 +0000 To:

  8. Sebastian Abbot says:

    Awesome!! Congratulations! Am sending you healing cancer smackdown karma and will give you a call to catch up. Can’t wait to share a pizza with you when I come back to the US in December!

  9. as a Survivor of testicular cancer, with 2 RPLNDs under the ol’ [surgically-changed] belt, with my own testimonial of BEP x 3cycles the Fall of 2011, I can offer you every insight into prep, recovery, and renew if cuts are next… we are a social species by God’s design… I am blessed to know you, and applaud all the supporters that are a part of this journey–THRIVE THROUGH CANCER!

  10. patty giesecke says:

    You go Jay…..this is a ‘cancer smack-down’ if there ever was one. Your friend Court gives sage advice…Love seeing that pizza….gone.
    Love from the Giesecke’s

  11. Love to you Jay & KR and way to go! I hope that pizza tasted as good as it looked!

  12. Randy Fairbanks says:

    Congratulations, Jay! Thinking of you and hoping your marker continues to go down. In the meantime, enjoy the pizza!

  13. Sarah Nestor Welch says:

    Love you Jay!

  14. Chemo no mo – Holla!

  15. Thinking of you guys constantly – so brave you are, congrats for making it through this part of the marathon. turn and face the fear of the unknown, look it in the face and scream at it, laugh at it, embrace it. Breathe, and move on. Love to you both. We’ve got your back each step of the way.

  16. BOOM! Congratulations, Jay!

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