wooo hooo – last chemo!!

The long-awaited day is finally here- the last and final chemo.  It dawned bright and sunny, like the world was smiling along with us.  (A little side note- not far from our new home is a small but lovely park with benches and statuary and arches, lined with many dogwood trees which are currently in full bloom.  A large sign proclaims that it is “Cancer Survivors’ Park.  Just seeing it covered in blossoms and new life right when I am indeed a cancer survivor and no longer a cancer patient seems so beautifully appropriate and encouraging!)

Cancer Survivors Park

Cancer Survivors Park

We fought our way through the maze of packing boxes, had a not-bad breakfast at Village Inn (where you know you can always count on “not-bad”.  Not necessarily good, but not bad) and headed for the Cancer Clinic for the LAST TIME!!

Well, that’s not exactly true.  I will have to continue to see my oncologist.  But we headed for the chemotherapy ward for the LAST TIME!!!  We picked up a little treat from Panera Bread for the nurses and staff to say thanks for how wonderful they have been to me.  I really can’t describe how special these women are.  From the front desk to the ones who do my vitals to the nurses who take care of my actual chemo, they are ministering angels.  I am sure that compassion and caring are required characteristics in hiring here.  I have never felt like just a patient, but always a person, and a special person at that.

Unfortunately shortly after starting treatment today I got a bad migraine.  “My” nurse for the day, Heather, and another who has cared for me often, Pam, were both fussing over me, bringing two different pillows to see which was more comfortable, putting hot packs on my neck, checking to see if I could take my migraine meds with what I was currently receiving.  (I could.)  I slept for a while – not that I have a lot of choice, the Benadryl sees to that- and feel somewhat better.  I’d like it more if I felt totally better, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

Yesterday’s move went very well.  We got quite a bit of help, although everyone was pretty worn out by the end.  The moving out wasn’t so bad, but moving in was a killer.  There was no good access, we have to walk a bit of sidewalk down the front of the building to get to our door, past the first entrance, and then there’s a half-flight of stairs up.   So our loving volunteers got quite a workout for their kindness.  But they got free pizza!  What more can you ask for 7 or 8 hours of unpaid hard manual labor?  As I have said many times before, we have the most amazing friends.

April is certainly proving to be our month of new beginnings.  A new job for Sam.  A new home for us.  And now, a new life without cancer for me.  Hallelujah.  I intend to continue this blog for the time being, at least until I get the results of the next scan in a couple of weeks.  I have found writing to be very good for me and quite a few people have suggested that it become a book, so I will see if anything interesting continues to flow.  Also, I do believe that God led me to write this blog, so I will have to look for his leading on whether or not to stop.  I’m interested in input.  Do you think this should be self-contained, ending when the cancer story is over?  Or should I continue writing as I learn from life?  There are no wrong answers, I am just very interested in what other people think.

A friend posted this on my Facebook wall today and I thought it was so beautiful and appropriate that I wanted to include it here.  It sums up my entire experience with cancer in a few lines better than I have in all these ramblings:

I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong,
I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve,
I asked for courage and God gave me obstacles to over come,
I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help,
I asked for for favors and God gave me opportunities…

Maybe I received nothing I wanted
But I received everything I needed…

After that, there is nothing more to say.

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