Today is the day!!
Aug. 3 –
As I get myself going and get ready, I’m as calm as can be. Today is my last chemotherapy infusion. Wow!! It feels like it’s been a long time comin’. From March when I started til now. What a crazy, horrible journey. A journey that has had so many ups and downs. Frustrations, madness, and so many other emotions. Sometimes you don’t realize the strength you really have til it’s put to the test. This has surely tested me. It has tested my strength in every way, my faith and everything that makes me, me. I didn’t realize how strong I’ve become. It has definitely changed me. It hasn’t changed who I am in my heart, but I believe it has made me a better person. I see so many things differently. I see things more clearer. I feel a whole lot deeper. I’m more gentle with how I speak. My heart feels like it’s opened up wider and bigger. I keep thinking a lot about that saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” That is the truth. When you’re faced with this kind of obstacle, the small stuff I used to fret over doesn’t even matter. Be thankful, ALWAYS.
During this course of treatment I have found out which friends are truly there to stick their neck out for you. It’s amazing the ones that have stepped up to the plate. I am truly grateful for friends like them.
My nephew is here to stay with my son. I’m waiting on Brittany and Clara Sue. The 3 of us are going to my appt. together. The rest of my crusaders, hopefully show up later. I told them that they didn’t have to be there for the whole thing but I wanted them there when I finished and rang the bell. That is important for me. We did this together. They were all there for me in some way, shape or form.
Amazingly, I slept pretty good. I thought that I was going to be wide awake and anxious with thousands of thoughts going thru my mind about today. I hope it turns out how I see it in my mind. Ever since I posted my news on social media, which was just last night, I have gotten tons of support. Lots of messages with kind thoughts and words.
My appt is at 11. By 3, I hope to be done. Tonight I can sleep with the fact that this part is all over. I made it through and now I can start the healing process. I can start building myself back up. I’ve been knocked down so many times through this process, I can’t wait to go up. It can only get better from here, right?
Brittany is here. She took the day off of work (we work together) just so that she could be there for me today. That just touched my soul. It means so much. She’s like a little sister to me. It makes me happy the love and support I’ve received. It feeds your strength. It’s soul food. Clara Sue gets here and we get ready to leave for my final visit. Eeeekkk. I think I’m gonna get emotional. I hope my nephew and my son show up later. They just have to be there. Dominic won’t be allowed to the back ( infusion ) but I hope he can be there when I ring that bell. I don’t wanna do this without him.
We get to the cancer center and don’t even have to wait. We barely had a seat in the waiting area when they came out to get me. It was before 11. Wow, maybe this will go quick! I get weighed in, vitals taken, and we’re ready to get started. I get my usual window seat. Maybe the dove will come visit me for good luck. It’s a beautiful day outside. My mood is fantastic. I already feel relief and I’m not even done. Just knowing that the end of this part has come has been a huge burden taken off of my shoulders.
As Brittany and Clara Sue leave to get us lunch, Lisa, (my oncology nurse) talks to me about the journey I have overcome as she hooks me up for the last time. She reminds me that the hardest part of this will be over soon. The rest of my journey won’t be this bad. I’ll breeze right through it. I’ve done so well even though the side effects have been a nightmare. I really hope the rest of it is as simple as they say. She starts me on my premeds. Thank the Lord this will be the last time I’ll need those steroids. I’ve hated those!!!
Brittany and Clara Sue show up with lunch. They got Long John Silvers. They also brought those funny hats. So, here we are, eating lunch, wearing our silly LJS hats, sitting by the window to look outside for the last time. The hats were fun. It’s a good day. Premeds are done and I’m hooked up to my last chemotherapy. Lisa tells me, “1 more hour!” 😀 Yay, I’m getting excited. I send a text to Penny and tell her, “time to knock this shit out of the park!! ❤ 👊 💪🎀 ❣ Bitch be gone!” 🎀 🎀 I wish she was here. She’s at work.
Slowly my crusaders start to trickle in. Both my brothers are here and Marybeth just showed up with a chocolate turtle cheesecake to die for. mmmmm That’s my treat to share with everyone. My heart stopped and swelled with happiness as my nephew and my son showed up. *Gasp* I can’t believe they let Dominic back here!!! He’s not even allowed and yet, he’s here. Tears of joy filled my eyes. He brought me a bouquet of flowers. I’m sooooo happy he’s here. Unfortunately, after a few minutes, he was spotted and we got in trouble for having him there. Children aren’t allowed in the infusion center. So, they made him leave. He had to go to the waiting room. 😔 That made me very sad but I knew it would happen. 1/2 hour left. I was very surprised when Penny and her husband, Manuel walked around the corner. I started to cry. I’m happy she made it. I didn’t think she would be able to. All of my crusaders are here. We’re gonna finish this together.
Everyone took turns going out to the waiting room to sit with Dominic til I was done. Time is really flying by. This is going quickly! I’m almost finished. Tammy sent me a text and told me to feel every emotion I could feel and to ring the hell out of that bell. I can’t wait. I look up at the drip bag on my chemo pole ( I don’t know if I ever told you, I named my chemo pole Joaquin) it’s almost empty. eeek. A few minutes later, the machine starts to ‘beep’. Indicating that it’s done. I inhale deeply at the thought of being finished. Lisa comes to unhook me. She asked everyone to wait by the bell for me. Clara Sue and Penny stayed with me while she did this. When the wires were all off I could feel the emotions rising from the pit of my stomach to my throat. I gathered my things. Clara Sue and Penny walked to the front and my brother Jake came to walk out with me. They’re all waiting for me. I start to tear up. As I walk towards them, Lisa says, “before you start to cry, let me get a picture of you holding the bell as if I was gonna ring it.” We get the picture.
Now she wants me to read the poem on the bell. Oh gosh, I don’t know if I’ll be able to. My emotions are on overload. Here goes. Deep breath. *sniff, sniff*
“Ring this bell, three times well, it’s toll to clearly say. My treatments done, this course is run and I am on my way.”
After I was done reading it, I paused for a few moments as they all told me to ‘ring it, ring it.” There are some things I need to say first before I do. I have to thank my loved ones. I hope they don’t kick me out. I look at the bell and turn to my son, “Dominic, my son, I ring this bell for you. . . for us. My brothers, I know we don’t say this often, but I do love you very much. My crusaders, Thank you for being with me, I appreciate everything you’ve done. And Clara Sue, my # 1, from the very beginning you have never left my side. Thank you for everything. You’ve done everything my Mom would have done. I love you, thank you for that.” “Ready?” *ding, ding, ding*
I can’t explain the rush of emotions. For a moment I just stood there til Lisa came to hug me. I guess a part of me was in disbelief that I finally made it to this point. I thought I was gonna fall apart and just break down. I didn’t. I teared up a bit but that was it. I surprised myself. We hugged, took pictures. I gathered my things and we all walked out.
I’m done, I’m really really done. Why does it all seem so unreal? Did I really just endure the last 5 months? 5 months of hell? Maybe now I can breathe. Maybe my life will slowly fall back into place. I need to decompress. I wanna go home with my son. I don’t want to go have a celebration, not yet. I just wanna be with my son. Is that weird, weird that I don’t want to celebrate? Some of us went back to my house for a while then Dominic and I had the rest of the afternoon to ourselves. Just what I wanted. I slowly started to call and text the rest of my family/friends to let them know I was all done. It is a relief but I really dont feel a whole lot different. Everything now just seems like a blur. Like if I’ve been watching it all play out in a movie. I was waiting for that release of emotions I’ve been needing but it never happened. I thought I was going to ball my eyes out. I’ve been holding it all inside for almost half of the year. I didn’t cry at all. I almost don’t feel anything. Is that weird? I feel like my emotions were suddenly somehow detached. This isn’t what I expected at all. I expected just the opposite. Maybe in time I’ll start to cry it all out. It needs to come out. I guess it’s just not gonna happen right away. Oh well. We’ll see. For now, I’m going to be thankful. Thankful that I have my life. Thankful that I’ve conquered this quest and that I had the strength to do it. I’m gonna close the chapter on this one and hope to never read it again. New chapters are ahead. No looking back. Moving forward. I’m gonna sleep tonight ready for tomorrow and a new beginning. I’ve been waiting for this. Yay me!!!! I made it! Thank you Lord!!
I had my hands on that bell, we all rang it together! ! ! !
Ready for a new day, new beginnings! ! ❣ 🙂