Tag Archives: celebrate

Live Blogging from the Chemo Chair: Cycle 6.2, A New Beginning.

9-17-15 bracelet

My new bracelet. Click the photo and you can order one too!

Almost done… Almost done… Almost done…

Today is my last (I hope) chemo treatment. Emotional roller coaster doesn’t even come close to what I’m feeling today.

“Almost done” has been percolating on my brain all week, and it’s¬†been a rough week. Last Thursday, I still had residual fatigue from the previous week. This week, I didn’t get my usual Friday-after-treatment steroid buzz, Just more fatigue. Sunday and Monday, traditionally bad days, were beyond bad. In 36 hours I put on 10 pounds of water weight in my face, upper arms, and thighs. If I stayed in a supine position it’s tolerable. But if I had to walk anywhere (like to the bathroom) it’s as if I had pillows strapped between my thighs. Walking down our driveway to the mailbox has been exhausting.

Almost done… Almost done… Almost done…

A few weeks ago, an old and very dear friend reminded me of something quite wonderful: the end of my chemo corresponds with the start of the Jewish New Year — which can be viewed as a new beginning.

A new beginning. For me, this is a profound thought. I found myself out on my patio on Tuesday afternoon pondering this thought and the incredible day. It was the kind of day meant to stop you in your tracks so that you could ponder something momentous. An autumn day of such perfection that it inspires an urgent feeling to be doing SOMETHING. Anything! Make your mark, pull some weeds, start a business, make a new beginning. I’ve been standing still since January 15. Eight months dormant. I hardly remember the passage of time, but I feel the urgency for a new beginning.

The urge to rush and grab that new beginning as if it might slip away from me.

Almost done… Almost done… Almost done…

9-17-15 Bev Shelley Cindy selfir

Today’s selfie!

My Chemo Buddies for today, my last day, are Shelley and Cindy — which is fitting because these two women have been my rock and anchor through the chemo battle. Shelley, Cindy, Pam H., Sharon, Pam C., Dr. Amy, Monica, Annie Lee — I have been so lucky to have such an amazing group of women supporting me through this battle. They’ve patiently listened to me whine, and made time in their busy lives to check on me, helped me celebrate the good milestones, chauffeured me to my treatments, and helped me stay positive over the past six months. I am humbled and in awe that they would gift me with their time and care.

Cindy made me chocolate covered strawberries to celebrate today!

Cindy made me chocolate covered strawberries to celebrate today!

Almost done… Almost done… Almost done…

9-17-15 Chump lunch

Patio at TJ Chumps. Thanks for this photo, Chumps!

We had lunch today at my favorite ‘Burg sports bar, T.J. Chumps. I forgot to take photos, take my word for it, the food was great, the conversation even better and we had a glorious day for patio dining.

The Chemo Cafe was packed today, with only one open seat. And it was a cursed seat — when Chemo Nurse Jana inserted the needle to my port, we discovered my port was clogged. We knew it was clogged because when Nurse Jana tried to draw blood for my blood test, all she got was clear bubbles. This happened once before, and there are ways to fix it starting with something euphemistically known as “Drano” — which (of course) didn’t work today. After trying a few other tricks (coughing, laughing, pushing the recliner all the way back, holding up my right arm, bending over my knees), we tried re-sticking the needle, with a bigger needle. Clever Nurse Jana! She knew I’ve been dealing with water retention in my torso, and by using a bigger needle she thought the needle would have better purchase in my port. She was right! So, only an hour late, we finally started the last chemo treatment.

9-17-15 needle in

Almost done… Almost done… Almost done…

Last week, I posted about things I would not miss once chemo was over. One of my friends asked me what I WOULD miss. It’s a very short list — only three things

I will miss all the wonderful nurses at the Chemo Cafe, especially Nurse Jana. They have been so kind and understanding. And I’ve always felt that I was in good hands when they had me in their care. Truly, I cannot say enough good things about the nurses who have seen to my healthy well-being since my battle began back in January when the first step back to normal was surgery. God bless all nurses, and thank you God for putting me in the path of some of the best of them!

I’ll miss how easy it’s been to schedule lunch with my friends. Without the cloud of chemo hanging over my head, scheduling lunch with my pals may become less urgent and a little more complicated. Or not. We’ll see.

A part of me will miss the lazy excuse to take no action. Since January, my life has been on hold and I’ve been living, not so much in suspended animation, but more of a suspended existence. No big decisions until I was done with chemo. Now, I have no excuse. Change is scary. And after six months, my life is going to be one big change. Scary, but exhilarating all at the same time. I just might miss the comfort of a suspended existence most of all. Or I might revel in this new beginning. We’ll see.

Almost done… Almost done… Almost done…

As I sit here in my chair, the nurses seem to be gathering. They’re moving towards me in a group like the wait staff at a cheesy restaurant waiting to sing Happy Birthday. Or a bunch of zombies looking for brains.

9-17-15 Nurses converge

Almost done… Almost done… Almost done…

They’ve pulled out sparkly party horns! They’re smiling and tooting the horns!

9-17-15 horns

OMG! I’m done!