My 6th and final chemo occurred on Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 – what a glorious day! This was the day I had been waiting for the past 4 months…the end – the beginning…..

The end of 4 months of pure HELL! The end of feeling like a zombie (not looking like a zombie, that will end soon I hope once the ole hair grows back in!) The end of depending on everyone for their help. The end of getting better only to get knocked down! The end of my active treatment…

I must admit I was nervous going into this last round – just as nervous as any other round, but this time, there was a new fear that arose. I wasn’t afraid of my symptoms to chemo, heck, I felt like a veteran by this point. I wasn’t afraid of how I would recover because I knew this last round meant that in three weeks I would be able to finally see what it would be like to get beyond the three week mark and see how much better I could feel. The “fear” was, like many time, the fear of the unknown. It’s a fear I still deal with and battle on a daily basis. That day, I remember being afraid of NOT getting chemo. Weird, I know! But as long as I was getting chemo, I knew the cancer was being  crushed by some strong medicine. What would happen once I stopped getting that medicine? Would it come back? How would I know? Would I be able to go through this again?

Thankfully Jeremy came with me to my final round – he was just the support and “distraction” I needed from so many of the unknowns. My sister also stopped up to hang out, which was so great! We rarely get to talk without 4 little voices screaming mommy, so a few hours of uninterrupted chat was a nice change…

Aside from the fear of “after” chemo, I was SOOOOOOO STINKIN EXCITED to be done. There really are no words to describe how very happy I was that day. When I first arrived, my white blood count was very low from my testing a few days previously and they were worried I wasn’t going to be able to get the chemo. WHAT A BLOW that would have been… but thankfully, after testing me that morning, my numbers went up a bit and I was able to get it even, but had to get that God awful shot the following day. A fight to the end for sure…

After I sat through my 6.5 hours of chemo there was one thing I was looking forward to doing… RINGING THE END OF CHEMO BELL!!! After I was unhooked, said my thank you’s and good-byes, I ran over to that sucker and rang it so hard I broke the chord off!! It was a great moment 🙂

So here I am, now 4 weeks out from my last chemo and feeling a “bit” normal. I’m still tired, in pain, my joints hurt, my head hurts often, I don’t sleep right etc… but I’m learning to find a new normal – a new way to live day to day with the “issues” that have arose from cancer/chemo! I am taking supplements galore to combat these “issues”. My father-in-law also purchased an ion cleanse diffuser machine, which is very helpful for removing toxins from your body, so I do that once a week. I started working out again, slowly, but it’s something – something my body needs so badly, yet despises to much after not working out for 5 months! I still have my stent in, and I get to have another one put in (whoopee!) in a few weeks because my blood clot still isn’t small enough to have it removed, but whatever – that’s baby talk compared to the other things I’ve been through. I love the fact that I am able to solely take care of my kids every day! I wake up with them, make them breakfast, take Brody to school, play, play and more play – I cook them all of their meals; I get them dressed; I am there for them…all.day.long! Sometimes, Brody will say things like, “mommy, you’re all better now YAY!” or if I have a doctor appointment he will get very upset and say, “no mommy, I don’t want the doctors to make you sick and tired again!” He doesn’t quite get it, but he definitely understands enough of what happened to me… Sadie doesn’t have a clue, thank goodness, so I know that none of this will affect her. Sure there are days where I’m brushing her hair and she tries to brush mine like we used to, but there’s nothing there and she says ” Mommy hair go bye bye”. It’s sad, but it’s temporary. In fact, I’ve noticed the hair is slowly starting to come in each and every day. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me!

So looking back and reflecting on this “journey” I’ve come to appreciate life so much more from these experiences. I cherish every single moment of every single day no matter how crappy or great it may be. I have come to realize that I am way stronger than I ever thought I was – I tell myself this those mornings when I am so tired I can’t even think of getting out of bed to get the kids, but I remind myself that I am way stronger than a little fatigue and get myself up – they need me. I look back and have a list of people to thank for supporting us, bringing us food, sending cards, sending presents, reaching out, giving their prayers, etc… this experience has shown me that there are so many wonderful people still left in the world, and I am so blessed to be surrounded by a supportive and loving group of family, friends and acquaintances. I can’t ever repay people for all they have done, but what I can do is pay it forward. Today I brought donuts to the postal workers who see me once a week with my Santa sack of packages to ship out, and although it was just donuts, they were so grateful – one woman even said it made her entire week! I have become more compassionate, more patient, more understanding, more nurturing and more accepting through this experience. I had cancer – I beat cancer – Cancer didn’t make me fight for my life; it didn’t make me want to win. My family, my friends, my desire to be there for them all – my love of life, of chocolate, of the beach, of smelling my freshly bathed babies, of my favorite sweatshirt, my desire to grow old and look back on a long life of memories…that’s what kept me going! I have so much more life to live and cancer has only helped me realize how much I want to live it!

And with that… I am moving on….

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