My Chemo Marathon

Not as bad as I feared

Shefali O'Hara
5 min readJun 11, 2024
Me with good friends Joan and Judy several years ago, before COFID and cancer

Yesterday was my first day of chemo since mid-October. Fortunately, my cancer markers have been very stable and my February PET scan showed some small growths were becoming still smaller and only one was not, but it was metabolically less active.

However, last week the PET scan showed a more serious growth as well as a couple of new ones. So we scheduled chemotherapy, partly because one of the growths was causing me significant pain.

Now, I hate chemo so I asked if radiation or even surgery might work, but since several areas were found, we needed a systemic approach. And I agreed that the sooner we started, the better, because I wanted to catch the cancer early.

That gave me the best chance for an effective, and hopefully short, chemo treatment.

So, while I wasn’t thrilled, I scheduled the chemo.

I thought it would be like prior appointments, but it turned into a marathon.

My friend Judy (the lovely blue-eyed brunette in the photo above) came and got me at 9:45 for a 10:15 appointment. It’s super important that I have someone with me when I go for chemo because I will not be able to drive after, due to all the drugs they put in me.



Shefali O'Hara

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