You know that feeling when a final exam you've been dreading is F.I.N.A.L.L.Y under your belt?
The relief and euphoria that washes over you?
How you want to tell everyone?
I had that feeling this week when I had my final dose of FEC. Phew! Woo hoo!
I can't really convey the relief to be done with this phase of my cancer treatment. Chemo has been do-able, but a bitch, nonetheless. Of course, I just got my treatment on Wednesday so now I'm dealing with the fatigue and nausea, but whatever. To know this is my last trip down this particular road is thrilling!
Joe was with me all through my treatment and when I came home, I found this surprise on the piano:
Banner & goodies from the Kuntzmann-Valdez clan, and beautiful Farmers' Market flowers (Love Lies Bleeding!) from Pam and Nia. I nearly cried, I was so surprised & touched. (Go Team!)
What's up next?
TAHOE!! Our post-chemo vacation. I. Can't. Wait. Last time we were in Tahoe was to celebrate my birthday just before I was diagnosed. Later that month I began chemo. So in a way, this is full circle. Only that time we played in the snow. This time will be all about the lake! I splurged and bought a couple new swimsuits. I've been holding back on buying bras and swimsuits since my chest will be dramatically changing in the coming months, but I can't keep living on hold.
(Photo credits: J.Crew)
In addition to not living on hold, I recently found out that Nordstrom sells breast prosthesis (prosthesi?) and they sew pockets into bras and swimsuits. Right on! This is a huge relief to me because I am thinking more and more that I'm not going to do reconstructive surgery. At least not right away. But I also am not ready to be out in the world with one boob on and one boob off. (Being "Chemo Girl" out in the world day in and day out is hard enough!)
So finding a company that does prosthesi and pockets in cute bras and swimsuits is a huge relief to me. Only my dear ones (and you!) need know my little secret. :)
So, this brings us to Cancer Treatment Part 2: Surgery.
I'm planning a single mastectomy. I have a call with my surgeon today to discuss scheduling. Then, in the coming weeks, I'll have blood work done, another MRI, a consultation with the surgeon, and another dose of Herceptin. (Herceptin? your thinking, I thought you were done with chemo?! Isn't this the point of this blog post?! Yes, I am done with the heavy duty chemo, the kind that gives me awful side-effects. But because the tumor is Her2+, I'll keep on with the Herceptin for a full year. Herceptin targets a specific protein in the tumor (both the one we know about in my breast, and any microscopic bits that might be floating around blood stream). That means every 3 weeks I'll go to the Chemo Lounge for an hour dose, until April.)
Anyway, back to the surgery: It's coming up in the next 6 weeks. I don't know yet what to expect in terms of how long I'll be in the hospital, or what recovery will be like. These next couple of weeks will be quite the education process, I'm sure. Then Tahoe to un-wind and gear up for Phase 2.
Keep on truckin'.