January 7, 2020

November 2019 Last Chemo Treatment and Ringing the Bell

Doctors Appointment

This was my last oncologist appointment for a while...a month.  I saw the nurse practitioner again and we talked the chemo side effects.  I still had the mouth sores and sore throat for days.  Also a new side effect spots on my hands and over my body.  I don't recognize my palms. The neuropothy in my feet go from getting better to "why won't it just go away".  

We talked about surgery and getting the port taken out at surgery.  Apparently the oncologist gets a say in IF the port can be removed during surgery or if they think it needs to stay in, Their office will look at the MRI and advise.  That was a shocker.  I just assumed...still I'll continue to believe things will go as planned in my head until further notice.

Radiology Appointment

I had a consultation with a radiologist.  I have to have radiology if I get a lumpectomy. Okay great. The radiologist was SMART.  He gave me the rundown on my cancer, tests, chemo drugs, surgery WITHOUT looking at notes.  He'd studied the notes and remembered them.  Impressive!

He told me that it would be EVERYDAY for 4-6 weeks depending on the results of the pathology report. EVERYDAY...but it would only take 10-15 minutes and I wouldn't get sick like with Chemo. Maybe I'll be tired but not sick. Okay. This seems like the last step in the process and then it is just check-ups. We will see. 

Last Chemo Treatment & Ringing the Bell

Getting to the LAST Chemo treatment was a PROCESS. It started in July the Summer and ended in  November in the Fall.

Before this session I gave a lot of thought about the gift I would give my Chemo nurse.  She and I talked about "eventually" she was going to retire.  I found her a Nurse retirement cup on Amazon. It's something I thought she would appreciate.

My son went to this last session with me.  I really appreciated his support. When you are used to doing things yourself it's powerful to learn who loves you.  Love is about moments.  Being there when the moments count.  I told my son he was a great son. 

I know because of the type of daughter I was to my parents.  I was tough on both of my parents.  I gave so little compassion to them.  I hated seeing them weak. My son was different he was the epitome of compassion and caring and sacrifice.   I wish I could have had his example of what I should have been when my dad was going through cancer, but now I know what it looks like.  How I should be.  How to do it.

Because my chemo appointments started mid afternoon I was usually one of the last one's to leave. The last session was no different.  There was only one other person in the chemo chair by the time I was finished.  My nurse Brenda got every one's attention and then I rang the bell.

NOW, if you are not close to someone who has had cancer you don't know what ringing the bell is. IT IS A BIG DEAL. It symbolizes the end of hell on earth.  Going through the fire. Surviving the Poison. Below is a video and a picture of me ringing the bell: