I had my last chemo treatment on Friday. It’s hard to believe, but I’m done. Today for the first time I officially used the phrase “I had Hodgkin’s Disease.” In reality, I’ve been in remission since I had negative scans four months ago, but I felt like because I was still in treatment, it wasn’t real. Now I have no excuses; I’m officially no longer a cancer patient. It’s a little surreal actually. You would think that I would be jumping for joy, but I feel kind of like the battle is only half won. When I started treatment I knew everything would be over and done with in six months, and then we could get back to our normal life. But with the baby now going through her own treatments, our dreams of normal are still far off in the distance. For one, I still have recuperating to do, as even the last chemo comes with all the side effects, and I won’t be back to my normal self for quite some time as my body still works on healing itself. I still have no energy, and I’m not sleeping well, but hopefully my body will start to pick back up when I don’t go in to knock it down with chemicals in two weeks. I guess I just can’t wait to start feeling better; I’m ready to be done for good. Having my eyebrows back would be nice too; a face seems naked with no eyebrows.
Of course the last chemo has to be the one that causes problems. Since we had gone on our little mini vacation earlier in the week, I had skipped my doctor’s appointment and had to go in early on Friday for my pre-chemo check. Once I left there, I went up to Addison Gilbert Hospital to get started on my last “spa” day. Of course, because it’s the last one, I have to start off with port problems – no blood draw. Chris put me in all sorts of crazy positions to try and open up a channel, but to no avail (although I offered to stand on my head, which she didn’t have me do). She said most likely that there was a little fibrous flap over the end of the catheter, and put an enzyme into my port to work it’s magic and loosen it up. So after about an hour of waiting, and a couple of unsuccessful tries, blood finally started flowing, and I was able to get going. Luckily they were able to get it going, because if they had to put it through my arm, it would have added about 4 hours to the ordeal. I got some nice flowers though. My friend Emily sent me a beautiful orchid, and the research nurse, Lisa, brought up some beautiful gerbera daisies. Now I will say, it’s not cake (although, to my surprise, my craving for pumpkin bread was met in a wonderful way) but I did appreciate the flowers.I’ve been feeling a bit out of sorts lately. I think I’m just feeling a little overwhelmed with everything going on. Even though it frees up some time every two weeks, being done with chemo is a routine change, and it’s always been hard for me to change routines. Plus, with the work we are doing on fundraising to help with bills, and the development of the products we are working on, I feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. I am glad that we have been able to get outside and do some things as a family. With the nice weather, it has been easier to get out; although, because Saoirse can’t swim, we are a bit limited on summer fun. But, there are other things to do, and she can get her feet wet, it’s just a matter of keeping the rest of her out of the water (hard to do with a 1 year old who really loves to splash). I just keep telling myself that it’s only a little while longer, and that next year, this will all be behind us and she’ll be able to swim all she wants.