And it FINALLY happened! I completed my 12th and final chemo infusion this past Wednesday, November 17, 2017. Praise the Lord! What a surreal feeling. My first chemo was on June 28th – so it took almost 5 months to complete the 12 treatments. Wow! It seemed like it would take forever – and the end of Phase 1 (chemo) finally arrived.
After my labs, I went to check in for my doctor’s appointment. We had a visitor in the breast clinic on Wednesday – her name was Layla. Layla is a therapy dog and she was absolutely WONDERFUL. So calm and well behaved. I got to sit and play with her a bit. Those therapy dogs really are amazing. Isn’t she just precious??
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous on Wednesday. The last few weeks I’ve been so doggone tired – not feeling well, and feeling like I might be trying to come down with something – I was praying all night Tuesday night (I didn’t sleep a wink that night, so I had LOTS of time to pray) that my blood work would be as it should be to allow me to check off this 12th and final treatment! And just like He has done this entire time……..God answered those prayers. My blood work was fine and I was given the okay to head to the infusion room and get the party started!
When Dawn came in the room to deliver the news to me that I would be finishing up today – she came in with the music blaring. Unfortunately, it won’t allow me to post the video here – but here’s a screen shot of when she came in the room playing this song by Mercy Me – it’s called Happy Dance……and she did a Happy Dance in celebration of me! Love love love her!
And of course, I had to document with pics of me getting my last infusion!
I had two new nurses for this last treatment – Eric and Kyle – and they could not have been any nicer! They were excited for me to be “graduating” from chemo! We had to wait awhile to get the chemo from the pharmacy – but once we got started, the next 30 minutes passed very quickly! Once I was done – the guys gathered several other nurses and a lot of bells and we all stood around and rang the bells to celebrate my graduation!
And that’s a wrap. Chemo is complete and thankfully I get a small reprieve from doctors appointments and treatments. I fully intend to make the most of the next few weeks – rest as much as I can – enjoy some good Thanksgiving food (if things ever stop tasting like cardboard) – do some reading – enjoy some family time, maybe do some Black Friday shopping from my bed in my PJ”s and most importantly…….NOT think about Phase 2 (Radiation) until after Thanksgiving.
What have I learned over the past few months? Wow – so, so very much. I’ve learned that:
- God has never forsaken me during this entire time…..just as He always promised
- I have been sustained by the prayers of so many of you and for that – I am eternally grateful
- turns out I am stronger than I ever could have imagined
- there are still A LOT of wonderful people in the world
- you should NEVER underestimate how much a card, call, text, meal, gift or visit can mean
- people don’t have to know you to care about you or do extend all types of kindness to you
- total strangers can turn into wonderful friends and become some of your biggest supporters and confidants
- God can take your MESS and turn it into a MESSAGE
- it is OKAY to ask for help and when people OFFER to help – saying “yes” blesses them just as much as it does you!
- I can’t imagine how folks get through trials like this without faith in God, and kick-ass family and friends.
- being bald can be EMPOWERING (and apparently I have a beautiful head)!!
- having Cancer has given me a voice I’ve never had before – I seem to speak my mind more than EVER before! Consider yourself WARNED!
- life is oh so precious. Cherish it. Stop and smell the roses. Indulge yourself sometimes. Be spontaneous! Learn to live in the moment. Make memories!
Gosh – I could go on and on…..but the point is, the lessons have been many.
In the basement of the Cancer Center – there is a baby grand piano in the atrium – and volunteers are there off and on filling the cancer center with beautiful music. And, as a wonderful “joy bomb” or “God wink”……as Paula and i were walking out of the building on Wednesday, a young man was downstairs playing “Hallelujah” on the piano. I stopped and paused and thought “absolutely”! How fitting that he was playing that song as my heart was singing “Hallelujah” as well. I hear ya, God!
There are many beautiful versions of that song – but this is one of my favorites!
Until next time…….
Psalm 145:6-8The Message (MSG)
6 Your marvelous doings are headline news;
I could write a book full of the details of your greatness.
7 The fame of your goodness spreads across the country;
your righteousness is on everyone’s lips.
8 God is all mercy and grace—
not quick to anger, is rich in love.