Thursday, October 28, 2010
Last 2 days of chemo - Part 2
Struggled to awake from lack of sleep; too anxious. Breakfast was oatmeal with blueberries. Attended to lost dogs who were eating the neighbors walnuts. Leslie Kay went to buy Shirley’s Bakery sweet rolls for me to take to my last treatment. Got cleaned up. Put on more makeup than I had been doing in many months. Most days it is none. Felt pretty good. Found a hat with a scarf that ties around it and loops into a bow out of the side that I had never worn after purchasing it. I guess I couldn’t find anything to wear it with or couldn’t decide if I even liked it. I put it on along with my clothes and jewelry for it was another special day. A day to look my very best, no matter how I felt, and a day of celebration. My father and mother showed up. My friend Leslie was already at the house. And we were to meet my sister Natalie at Dr Litton’s office. These people unarguably have given me a lot of support during this year and I wanted to have them with me on this momentous and important occasion. We rode together up to Murray, Utah for the start of my final chemo treatment! A nurse took my vital signs, then took us into the infusion room and told us to look for a seat if we could find one. They were indeed busy. We found a great spot off in the corner though. I took the sweet rolls over to the kitchen area so people could help themselves. Little by little throughout the day one person here and there would stop me and tell me what a cute hat I was wearing. I had to thank them, and then laugh because I was so unsure of it in the beginning. Last count got to somewhere around 10 people who complimented me on the hat. It’s always a good day when you get compliments right? We should never hold in a nice thought, kind word, or good deed, because we may never remember it again but it may mean the world to the receiver. While wandering a bit we ran right into a few of my favorite people, Bruce Bolonesi, Shirley Bleak, and Mike Gaffney who work directly with Dr Litton as PA's and NP's. We chatted a bit and took our picture together. I told them to go eat a sweet roll. We took more pictures of things I’d want to remember. My sister then arrived and a nurse brought her a mask at her request. She looked awesome! She had just gotten over a cough and did not want to risk breathing on any cancer patients. After returning to my seat it was time to be hooked up to the anti nausea drugs, fluids, and finally the adriamycin. The very last adriamycin! It is interesting because I cannot usually sit and watch the chemo go up the very small tube and then into my veins. But today I felt very confident, very empowered. And ready to move on. “Deuce” was my nurse today. I have had her before. She’s real nice. I asked if someone would bring me the usual cup of ice to chew on during the administration of the chemo. I am not certain it has helped prevent mouth sores for me. I still get them. But I am always will to try anything, even if it only means decreasing side effects. Suddenly we were done and my port was taken out of my chest for the last time (for chemo anyway). We gathered up the bags, my crutch, our purses and headed down the hallway for the grand finale’. All the way down the nurses station each one said, “You are going to ring the bell right?” Of course I would! So we gathered around the bell up on the wall and I rang it several times. It felt good. Everyone in the room, including patients clapped for me. We snapped a few pictures with the bell and headed out for a celebration lunch. We ended up eating at Ruby River Steakhouse, where I ordered a halibut encrusted in something (parmesan?) while most others got a steak. We left feeling very full. I gave Natalie a big hug goodbye and we started our journey back to Provo. I invited everyone in because Oprah had the entire von Trapp family from the original filming of The Sound Of Music on her show and I am a big fan. We only watched the last half but it was very good. People started leaving and I noticed notes and hearts on my bedroom door. I believe the culprit of the heart attacking was my roommate Sara Stauffer. It was very thoughtful and cute. It was only five or six pm when I started feeling tired for my bed for the rest of the evening. One of my prescriptions, an important one for the next couple of days too, needed to be picked up. Leslie saved the day. I sure have a hard time grasping that 2010 has even started let alone it is at the tail end. If things were on the original schedule I’d be getting admitted to the hospital sometime this weekend for a round of chemo. I would still be going until the end of the year or early into 2011. But with some mixed emotions. I am here. And I am done. Now follow up, and much more. But elated to be done with the hardest part.