Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Current mood: Elated!
Well today was my last treatment. My emotions were all over the place today and still are as I write this.
Of course I'm thrilled that my treatment is over, but sad to have to say good-bye to my chemo nurse, Helen.
It has been a long journey with many highs and lows and even some low lows. But I survived! Wow, let me say that again, I survived!
As I got my final treatment today there was another woman in the room getting hers as well. We exchanged greetings and she visited with her husband and I did my usual, buried myself in my People magazine. A little later, another woman entered the room with a friend. She sat in the recliner next to me. We exchanged smiles and said hello. Her chemo nurse came over and explained everything to her. I knew by the conversation that it was her first treatment. As her chemo nurse started the IV, the woman began to cry. It brought tears to my eyes. I had been there, I knew how scary the first treatment can be. You could tell she was embarrassed. The other woman getting treatment reassured her that it was going be OK and to just let it out. I smiled and said the same thing to her. I even told her that I had cried the whole entire time, my first treatment.
My first treatment seems so long ago, June 25, 2007. What a day. First I had to have my port surgically implanted. That was fun. I had to be at the hospital for 6 am. After my surgery, they wheeled me down to the Cancer Center. I remember sitting in the waiting room, looking at all the sick people. Was I really one of them? When they called my name, I went into the treatment room. My Dad came with me to keep me company. I remember the nurse explaining everything to me. I could hear her words but nothing was registering, I was scared shitless. After she hooked everything up and had left I started flipping through some magazines. I was literally just flipping the pages. I had no idea what I was looking at, everything was cloudy from my tears. I cried the whole entire 2 hours that I was there. And that's not even the worst part. The worst part was that this little old lady sitting across from me getting her treatment stared at me the entire time. I couldn't believe it, I still to this day can't believe it. I'm not sure why she stared. Was it the fact that she had never seen a person scared and crying or was it the fact that I was younger? Whatever it was, I didn't appreciate it. When my treatment was over I remember making my next appointment in Avon, which is a satellite office. I was never returning to that hospital and cancer center ever again! I walked so fast out of there, my Dad could barely keep up. Across the street to the parking garage I headed.
When we got home, my Dad wanted to stay and make sure I was OK. My stomach was queasy so I ate some crackers. At the time I wasn't sure if I was hungry or if it was nausea. That is something I never really learned. The difference between hunger pains and nausea pain. I later learned that night, that is was nausea. It sucked! I couldn't even tell you the last time I threw up. YUK! Welcome to chemo.
My first 4 chemos were the hardest. The nausea was unbearable. I was on three different meds for it and still popped Ativan like it was going out of style. WOW! Looking back is scary.
Losing my hair was one of the hardest things. I really thought I was going to be OK with it until it happened. At first I could see my hair all around the house and on my pillows in the morning. But the worst was the day I was in the shower and washing my hair and seeing the water rise in the tub and not realizing at the time that it was my hair clogging the drain. I remember running my hand across the drain and scooping up what looked like a brillo pad of hair. I started crying, you know that cry where you can't catch your breath and you think you are going to hyperventilate, that was the cry. And of course facing the mirror as I got out of the shower was fun too. That moment is when it hit me. I had cancer.
Well here I am today, still here and with a new head of hair.
Today at the end of treatment as my IV pump beeped, I started to get a little teary eyed. As my chemo nurse headed toward me and started to take the IV out, she said the famous words she always says, "take a deep breath" as she pulls the needle out of my port. Today I told her, that was going to be the last time she was going to have to say that to me. We both laughed. She gave me a huge hug and I thanked her for making my day a little brighter on my days of chemo, when I usually was in a bad mood.
I'm glad to have this chapter in my life come to an end.
And I thank everyone for helping to support me through my Cancer Crapness Journey.
I love each and every one of you!