my last chemo.... #8!!
YOU GUYS! i finished my 8th [and hopefully final] chemo this past friday and i have to tell you it is the best feeling in this world! it’s hard not to get emotional thinking about life these past 5 months… from being told that i didn’t have cancer to then finding out a couple weeks later that i do in fact have it. all the tests, surgeries, hair loss, treatments… all leading me to this final chemo day… it’s craziness! someone said to me “it feels like it went by really fast!” … which i suppose in the grand scheme of things 5 months really isn’t a long time, but to me this whole experience has felt like an eternity!! but, i am now one step closer to being done and putting this whole thing behind me.
this chemo day started off the same as almost all the rest… blood work that revealed low counts, which means i have a severely compromised immune system. so, i need to take 3 neupogen shots (ugh) to help my bone marrow produce healthy white blood cells, faster. fun fun! they wouldn’t be so bad if i weren’t completely repulsed by the smell of rubbing alcohol. that’s one aversion that i believe is here to stay… even thinking about it right now makes me want to vom.
after the blood work i met with my doctor and he scheduled me for a pet scan in 4 weeks. the reason he wants to wait that long before a scan is so my body can rest before any further treatments. also, they want to make sure that all is good without any chemotherapy for those weeks. will the cancer still be gone? that is such a scary thought. what if there’s new growth? what if the mass is still lingering? all of these ‘what if’s’ and unknowns… i don’t like it. it’s hard not to focus on them. if my scan reveals a cancer free image i will move on to radiation! my fingers are crossed SO tightly for that.
moving on to my treatment… i didn’t get a room with a window which was a bummer, but my room number was 24 which is my most fav number and i had my favorite nurse!! my mom came to this treatment with dan & i… it was fun having her there! she only had to be lectured a few times to stop crying. oh chemo, it’s an emotional time for all. i start off each treatment feeling great… talkative, pretty much my ‘normal’ self… but then about halfway through i become so exhausted that i can barely make out a sentence. i was nervous at how she would respond to that because it’s not how she’s used to seeing me… but, it was of course totally fine and i was anxious for absolutely no reason. by the time my treatment was complete i felt like a zombie. i was cold, tired… just ready to be done. but, not so fast! since this was my last chemotherapy treatment i was able to ring the bell!! what an amazing experience that was for so many reasons. the nurses all gathered around and read a really sweet poem to me and then i was able to “ring the hell out of that thing” as one of the nurses so perfectly put it! any ounce of post treatment sleepiness i felt was looooong gone after that bell ringing! i also learned that i get to ring a different bell once i complete radiation. yay!
the day after my treatment i felt great! you would have never known that i had a treatment the day before… my girlfriends came over and we had a little riverdale premier party like a bunch of 14 year olds and it was amazing! then sunday rolled around and reality slapped me right in the face. i just felt super exhausted and had pretty much no energy. the same can be said for today except not only am i tired but i also have a headache. good times.
so for now i am going to enjoy the next month as much as i possibly can!! no chemo, no doctor visits… ah! it will be so nice.