One would think I’d be jumping for joy at the thought of my last chemo appointment. To be honest I’m quite happy it’s over, but the actual infusion is really the easy part.
Yes, Saturday morning was my last Taxol infusion. 3 1/2 months, 8 rounds, many meds, countless naps, a bald head and numb digits later I’m finished. No more chemo. At one point I didn’t think I would make it this far. After the 2nd round of Taxol I wanted to give up. The side effects were so bad that the thought of having to get up the stairs to go to the bathroom made me cry. So when I woke up Saturday with the thought of, “this is the last,” it wasn’t as joyful as it should have been. You see, I still had to go through the pain.
I’m now at day 5 in this cycle and feeling somewhat better. I couldn’t work yesterday and would not be an effective teacher today so I took the days off. A good portion of my right hand is almost totally numb. The bottom of my right foot can’t feel much. I still get shooting pains in my legs and arms. This is a good day. Tomorrow will be better than today. The next day better than that.
Throughout this journey I learned what limits I will go to to survive. I’ve learned that there is always something worse than what I’m feeling right now. I’ve also learned that when I feel good I need to live life to its fullest. The people in my house were my support network. They cheered me up at my lowest points. They listened when I didn’t want to have cancer anymore. They remind me on a daily basis that a good friend is worth fighting for.
I also could not have gotten through this without an incredible partner by my side. Derek sat with me at every appointment. He held me when I cried and reminded me that I had no choice but to get through it. I am so grateful to have someone like him.
Friday I meet with my Radiation Oncologist. We will start working on the plan for radiation treatments. I’ll need to do 6-7 weeks of daily treatments. The side effects will be nowhere near as bad as chemo. I can expect some fatigue and there is the possibility of skin burning. Truth be told I’m most afraid of radiation. This will be chest wall radiation on the left side. They’ll be radiating near my heart. There is always the potential for damage to the heart or lungs. I trust the techs and doctors, but I’m still scared.
In good news, I do get my port removed on the 13th. My oncologist asked me when I wanted it removed and I said as soon as possible. The 13th it is! It will be nice not to have that cockeyed lump in my chest anymore.
So onward and upward. This whole journey is nearly complete!