Doing Chemo Again

Even though I hate it

Shefali O'Hara
2 min readJun 8, 2024
Picture of me before I got cancer for the first time 20 years ago. I had hair back then

Well, I’ve had a good run. I haven’t done chemo since early October of 2023. I have been very happy about that, and my markers were stable despite my not doing treatment.

Then I started to feel a sharp, shooting pain underneath my mastectomy scar. I thought it must be due to inflammation because I’d had a fender bender — perhaps the rib underneath that area was slightly out of line?

I went and saw a GP and my oncology nurse, who recommended lidocaine patches. A pain management doctor told me he could give me prescription pain meds or injections, but when I told him I was looking for a drug free solution if possible, he recommended a chiropracter.

My chiropracter told me she couldn’t manipulate that area as it was too close to fragile tissue, but there were other options including gentle stretching which has helped.

However, a routine PET scan that I do every 3 months revealed that a tumor had been growing in that area. My markers had gone up the last 2 weeks before the scan, but I didn’t realize it until after because of delays. Signatera is the provider of my blood work tests and they always take at least a week and sometimes longer to get the results to you.

So now, unfortunately, I am starting chemo again on Monday.

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Shefali O'Hara

Cancer survivor, writer, engineer. BSEE from MIT, MSEE, and MA in history. Love nature, animals, books, art, and interesting discussions.