Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Herceptin # 18: The End of the Treatment Road



Wow...I don't even know where to begin on this one. I walked into the chemo room sick, with a fever and unprepared for the words "This is your last treatment." Thinking that I had one more according to my calendar schedule from Dr. G. it was evident that this was the alarming reality. The nurse liason quickly checked with my oncologist before coming back into the room with her proclamation as we all stared at her and waited with bated breath - "Yes, it's official, this is your last treatment!"

Silence. Gasp. "What?" Tears.

I couldn't believe it and reacted immediately by slapping the chemo chair arm and demanded that the nurse go back to Dr. G. with a message from me - "You go tell Dr. G. that I am NOT prepared for this!"

But as the Herceptin scheduling Gods would have it....this was indeed the end of the treatment road for me. Not knowing at all how to feel, the tears just started to slowly stream down my face as I looked into Hil's eyes. She knew that I had been dreading this day as it would be the transition to cancer independence. Along with the band of 'Purple Angels' chemo staff around me, I simply couldn't contain my tears, but thankfully and strangely, the ambiance was quite peaceful during this not-so-frequent occurrence - an empty chemo room.

Never in my year of treatment have I walked by or into that room being the sole patient as it was usually filled to the brim with people, yet this day I was. This further added to the somber and lonely feeling I quickly had when I received the news of this last treatment. Was the universe conspiring with me on this last day? I frankly didn't know how to feel as a flood of emotions welled up inside of me. Happy. Sad. Surprised. Shocked. Frantic.

Hil immediately started taking pictures, filming and hiding behind the camera as she too didn't know how to take the news. The chemo staff didn't blink an eye as they have become used to her filming and documenting my journey, but this day had her privately retreating behind the lens. The only thing she said she knew to do.

I was, as I professed at the onset of my treatment, utterly unprepared for this. All I wanted to do was to curl up into Martha's lap and cry my eyes out and never open them up again. The best chemo-purple-angel-humanitarian in THE world! AND...so happened that my last day of treatment was her birthday - a day I will never forget.

Then came a ray of sunshine that walked through the door by the name of Lorena, one of my new 'breast friends' that I've had the great pleasure of getting to know these past few months. Going through a second breast cancer diagnosis herself, I felt as if my reinforcement showed up just in the nick of time. LUV this gal and her spunky attitude! So we spent the remaining time, just the two of us in those chairs, laughing, crying and sitting in silence. Exactly what I needed.

Then, my other 'breast friend' Marion came in briefly to bring Hil and I some sweet treats - flourless, sugarless, dairy-free cookies. Wow, I was overcome by more love and support. A surprise visit, this other lovely is a special one too and someone I immediately connected with at her first chemo appointment a couple of months ago. More reinforcement in the form of love. Couldn't ask for anything more.

As for my final exit out of that room with hugs, love and tears, I held my new chest up high and walked out that door. Promising to come back as a 'Chemo Concierge' to pay it forward, I looked at the lovely Martha who said with her beautiful big smile - "Now get out and stay out!"



'We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us'
-E.M. Forster

8 comments:

  1. Even if it came as a surprise, congratulations on finishing the treatment. While you may have fewer hospital appointments, there's still so much support available - from wellness centres with yoga and massage and counseling, breast friends, and right here online as well - you don't have to be on your own. ~Catherine

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    1. So sweet and true Catherine! Thanks as always for your ongoing support, well wishes and kind words. The transition is still in progress as I slowly welcome this next phase of life. I'll look forward to the support of organizations like Facing Cancer Together. Thanks for all you do!

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  2. Congratulations, DeeAnne! It's been too long since I've seen you. So happy that you are moving forward again. Sending you lots of love and best wishes!!! Say HI to Hil for me :)

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    1. Thank you so very much Terry! I so appreciate your support and yes, it's been way too long since we've seen each other! Such good and fun memories we've had! Keep up with all of that barefoot running - so amazing! Love and good wishes to you and your beautiful family!

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  3. "Get out and stay out!" I love it!

    I certainly haven't been around for your whole journey -- I just found the link that you posted in BlogHer Chatter today. But it's SO wonderful to get to show up just in time for this post and say "congratulations." :) Sending you lots of well wishes for your continued recovery.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by and for the 'congratulations' and well wishes! I'll take 'em! Hope to see you on BlogHer and the Kiss Chronicles!

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  4. Hi! My name is Lucia and I was wondering if you could take this survey for my high school science project? It's completely confidential and it would really help me. Thanks!
    http://www.surveytool.com/s/SA4FC0F46D

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    1. Hello Lucia! I just completed your survey. Good luck on your science project and thanks for stopping by Cancer, Cancer bo-Bancer!

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