I finished my eighth and final round of chemo this week. Boy am I glad to have THAT behind me. I still have the yuckies, but it's nice to know that I won't be going through that again in a couple more weeks. My sister's family, Amanda, came to visit last weekend and took Jack home with them to Alabama to stay with my mom for a few days. It was nice for her that she didn't have to drive all the way to my house to take care of him. It was nice for me that Jack didn't have to worry about me, because he does. Kevin was able to take me to chemo Monday and Tuesday and work better with peace and quiet around the house. Kevin's mom, Joyce, drove me to chemo on Wednesday. So she was there for my "graduation." All the ladies at the West Clinic were excited to present me with a graduation diploma. Then, I went out back to "ring the bell." It was all pretty exciting. I guess it had been a while since anyone had rung the bell, because a bee came out and stung me. YIKES! They doctored me up; I was fine by nightfall.
Right now, I still feel pretty shaky. As long as I rest, I do ok. Last night, I missed Jack's second soccer practice. I was pretty sad about that. I'll be good for the rest of them, though. My brain misfires and says words that have nothing to do with what I am trying to say. It takes much longer for me to type right now, as my fingers don't quite cooperate. The Taxol really does a number on your nerves. It's temporary, though. None of that matters, though, because right now I am cancer-free.
I had a conversation with my oncologist last Friday. (I didn't realize how much he was discussed around the house until Jack mentioned "Dr. Reed" this morning.) He is a straight talker. I like that about him. We get along well. He wanted to be sure I understood that this cancer could come back. I am well aware of that. This isn't the first round for us. My response to him was, "Dr. Reed, I do not intend to live the rest of my life waiting for cancer to return. I did not give up and live like a cancer patient when I was one, and I do not intend to live like one now. " He was good with that. Of course, I came home and started thinking about it all. Then, I was angry and sad, not at Dr. Reed, at cancer, and all those terrible emotions just came pouring out of me. With the help of Kevin and Amanda, I was able to pick myself up and remember that everything is going to be ok. My cancer is gone. I am so grateful for the many doctors, nurses, pharmacists, friends, family and strangers who have made a difference in my recovery. We could not have done it without each and everyone of you.
So, this is the end of the road for chemo, but you may wonder what happens next. Well, we watch and wait. My cancer is caused by estrogen production, which also causes other related cancers like breast cancer and colon cancer. I will begin taking hormone therapy, not to be confused with hormone replacement therapy. Hopefully, the hormones (Megace and something else I can't remember) will counteract the estrogen production and interfere with future cancer outbreaks. The bad news is that these medications also cause weight-gain, which doesn't make me happy. Weight-gain also stimulates estrogen production. So, I've got to work extra hard to lose all this weight I've gained in chemo, and hopefully more, to be healthy. This isn't about pants size anymore. This is about my life, Jack's life, Kevin's life. I have to be healthy for them.
So, this is the weekend I begin Weight Watchers. Special thanks goes out to Donna Egan for sharing her Weight Watchers cookbook with me. You rock! I also plan to get moving. Since Jack is riding his bike with training wheels now, I want a new one too. The weather is cooling off so, it should be a nice time of year to begin my outdoor "get moving" regimen." Jack wants my bike to be a surprise. So, he's been asking me what color of bike I "would" like to have if I had one. :)
Mrs. Susan and Pri came by Tuesday afternoon with deviled eggs, that I had especially requested, and chicken from Abners for dinner. Jack was excited to see brownies when he got back from Granny and Papa's house. We had a nice visit. I was glad to finally meet Pri. What a sweet girl! How scary it must be to travel so far from everything that is familiar to you! Thanks, Mrs. Susan.
Kevin's mom made sure to check in on me while Kevin was out of town. She invited me out to lunch and dinner. It was nice to get out of the house. She also helped me pick up some thank you gifts for Jerri and Jill at the cancer clinic. Thanks, Grandma!
I received a most beautiful floral arrangement from my cancer card buddy, former student, and cheerleader~Laura Huish. Thanks Laura. They are huge! You really shouldn't have done so much. None-the-less, I could feel your hug all the way from New Mexico. I'm so glad God introduced us to one another. You are one tough cookie.
I'm sure I'll have more thoughts to add in a new blog later, but that is all for now...