Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chemo #4 - The Finish Line!

My Hubby!
Today was Chemo #4!!  That last one!  Woot!  It was all very exciting.  Today's sidekick was my cutie-pie husband, Greg.  I eschewed my usual Starbucks run on chemo morning (I just had Starbucks yesterday) for a hash brown, mcgriddle thing and orange juice from McDonalds.  I feel a bit guilty saying that it was really delicious.

Upon arrival, I was given a new form to fill out to let them know, on a scale of 1-10 how distressed I'm feeling.  I was really tempted to circle 10 just to freak them out but, instead, I circled a respectable 3.  I do have cancer after all, I'm here for chemo - I'm a little distressed!  Then I made sure the check the box that said I didn't need anyone to contact me about my "issues."  Thanks - I'm good.  Just let me wallow in peace, thank you very much.

When it was time to be led back, we were led a different way...down the hallway...TO...A PRIVATE ROOM!  WOOT!  I don't know what I did to deserve a private room but I was very excited!  Room to spread out - our very own room!  Had this been under different circumstance, it might have been "tax time" with my husband - but, alas, that wasn't feasible.

There are certainly advantages to having your own private room - more privacy, more space, a little calmer, etc.  However there are some drawbacks as well.  First of all it was actually much louder - since it was off a hallway, there were a lot of people coming and going and the hallway was a major sound tunnel and you could hear everything.  Secondly, it was a little lonely - no chatting with the person next to you which I enjoy. Thirdly, no people watching which I very much enjoy.  Lastly, when your IV machine beeps, they have trouble finding you quickly and the machine beeps louder and LOUDER the longer it is ignored!  It. Will. Not. Be. Ignored!

FREE Cookie!
However, I was so exhausted today that a private room was probably a good thing because, once I had my TWO hot blankets (I was cold!), I fell right asleep.  Despite the loudness.  I'm not sure I would have fallen asleep out in the main room.  I have been told I snore (impossible!) and probably I drool since I already have a drooling issue when I'm awake.  But, nap I did in my cozy private room.  I was awakened several times by loud conversations and people walking by but, all in all, it was peaceful enough.  The most jarring noise was the lady from the American Red Cross yelling HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!  But, I forgave her because they gave us FREE Junior Mints and Halloween cookies.  I forgive most people when given free candy and cookies.  I munched down my junior mints and then fell back to sleep for a bit.

Mostly, I napped, ate my snacks, played a bit on my new Ipad (that my hubby bought me when chemo started - of course, I now have to wrestle it away from him to use it...).  And waited.  Waited for it to be over with.

I was excited that it's my last time.  But also apprehensive.  It's kind of bittersweet.  Because, even though chemo SUCKS, I felt like I was DOING something active.  I was fighting cancer!  I was doing everything I could.  And now that it's going to be over, it's a bit of a letdown.  A bit of an unknown.  Did I do enough?  Are they sure this is really enough?  Oh sure, I'll be on a cancer pill for, maybe the rest of my life, and that's an active tangible thing - but chemo, losing my hair, SUFFERING was proof that I was fighting with everything I have!  And, in a weird sicko way, it's hard to give that up. But, it's not really up to me - it's up to my body, I guess.  And fate maybe?  I've done what I can and I have to move on now.

I suffered through that last bag of chemo drugs that makes me hot (2 blankets GONE now!) and gives me a splitting headache.  They gave me both Motrin and Tylenol and it did seem to help a little.  After being unhooked, I was given a certificate signed by the nurse and some of the staff!  I was actually really excited!  The nurse hugged me and other people congratulated me.  It really did feel like a huge accomplishment!

I left knowing that I won't be back - I hope not anyway.  There are no guarantees, of course.  But I did what I could and now we wait and see and hope that going through all of that torture really did work and really was worth it.  I know I'll think about cancer every day for a long long time to come.  And I have at least 3 more surgeries before this journey is truly over.  But finishing chemo is a huge milestone and one that I'm, mostly, glad to put behind me.

1 comment:

  1. You are so incredibly strong, Laura. I really admire you and your sense of humor. I don't know if I could muster it up like you have. You're amazing!

    Tamara Adams