No, this isn't my Halloween costume! It's me in my new Tinkerbell pyjamas. Thanks Robbin!
But since it is Halloween, wanna hear something scary? 4 surgeries, 25 radiations, 6 chemotherapies, 4 Brachytherapies, low blood counts, food restrictions, diarrhea, nausea, doctors, nurses, techs, oh my. Frightening, isn't it?
But that's been my life for the past little while. That is what I have been through, mostly in the past 7 weeks. Makes me cringe just thinking about it...
Today I reached a milestone - the end of my 25-sessions of external beam radiation. They gave me a certificate of completion and everything. Yippee! Except don't jump up and down quite yet - I'll start the "bonus round" of radiation on Tuesday - somewhere between 3 and 5 very targeted treatments. But Dr F assures me there will be no more after that.
And I may have had my last chemo yesterday. Technically, there is another one scheduled for next Thursday, but Tuesday I will have labs done and it will depend on how low my blood counts get. Things are pretty low right now, but they are still waiting for those labs before they make the call. Part of my wants to get that one last treatment, but a much bigger part of me REALLY wants it to be over with!
It isn't that chemo is bad, it's just that the weekends after chemo just so incredibly suck. I know it sounds dreamy to stay in bed for three days and watch TV, but it really isn't. But like I said, the treatments themselves still aren't that bad. Two weeks ago, MT Jeanne came with me and I finally beat her at that game of Scrabble! Did I win? Or did she let me win? She doesn't generally do that, but then again, I am sick and she might've felt sorry for me. I'm sure she'll say she didn't throw the game, but that means I beat her fair and square - just the way I like it!
But what's REALLY over (and I do mean REALLY) are those damn Huber needles that I've had to endure for multiple days sticking in my chest. I hate them, hate them, hate them. The first time I had one, the nurse covered it with gauze so I couldn't see it. But the last few times, it has just been a clear dressing. Which is really gross to me. Mirrors have not been my friends. But if you'd like to see, click here!
Brachytherapy this week was fairly uneventful. Things went easier because I was already wired up, so I didn't have to get stuck by Nurse J. (The week before, she had to stick me twice and it left a yucky bruise.) Oliver stopped by to wish me luck. I got my mega dose of Versed and got really really loopy. I'm hoping I won't have to go to rehab to get off the stuff! LOL
Dr F inserted the "tandem and ovoid" lollipops in a different configuration so there was no need for me to be tilted at an odd angle, and no need to clamp off my cath bag! That was awesome! Yes, it hurt to unpack everything, that is to be expected. However, it went much quicker than last time and I was home by 2pm. I get a week break from Brachy (would that be a week Brachy-break?) - my last one is scheduled for November 12. My last treatment.
Let me repeat that: My last treatment will be November 12. That means that 12 days from today, I will get my last treatment.
After that, all I have to do is feel better in time for brussels sprouts on Thanksgiving! I don't want to jinx anything, but I'm starting to feel a little excited about this.
I'm going to take a nap now so that I'll have some energy to hand out Halloween candy to all the little hoodlums tonight. Candy that I can't eat. Seems a little cruel, don't you think?
For those keeping score:
Thanks for all your calls and emails - I really appreciate you sticking with me through this whole ordeal :)