Chapter Three: Chemo, Radiation, and Carolina

48 weeks total of treatment. Four twelve-week cycles. The first two ran vincristine weeks 1-10, with additional cytoxan and dactinomycin during weeks 1, 4, 7, and 10. Week 11 is a PET scan and week 12 is a week off. There were also 23 straight Monday-Friday days of radiation on two different machines from the first week of October to the first week of November. The cytoxan weeks meant two-three nauseating and exhausting days in bed waiting for the drugs to wear off. And as the effects of radiation built up I would leave the hospital every day and go straight to sleep. Since then I have had to take anti-nausea medicine around the clock to keep my stomach happy. This first half of treatment was challenging.

That made taking classes at Carolina this semester pretty difficult – but the opportunity to study and learn at one of the nation’s best state schools has been amazing so far. I am greatly in debt to the University for taking my situation into account and helping me continue going to college even while on medical leave from West Point. The social support received through dorm friends, classes, professors, TAs, and new friends has honestly been what has kept me happy and moving forward through all of this. There have been some really fun and really crazy times so far – and I can’t wait for more during my year here before heading back up north.

Infusion site In the tunnel

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