End of Chemo Year

Hey there! Remember when I was telling the story about my treatment? Me too! I was just getting to part of the story about the end of my chemotherapy infusions when I got a little distracted, had computer difficulties, got busy, went on vacation, got through the holidays, and, well, now this post is actually about me Thirteen Lucky Months ago. I left off talking about the day of my last chemo and how I was feeling going into it.

Since I was still a nervous patient and I had the added complexity of actually making the doctors nervous, I was able to see the oncologist before going down for my last infusion. As usual, I had a list of questions. I will spare you my notes about my upset stomach issues caused by the drugs. I had a chest cold and cough. There was green stuff instead of clear. I had a slight fever off and on. Yes, I could get it anyway. I had an ache in my armpit and breast. It had been there for months. I asked nearly every chance I had where someone would listen. I wanted to start working out. I had to wait until after the surgery and that release.

Then finally I was able to go downstairs. I wrote about the last day here in detail. My mom and That Guy were there. My dad brought the girls in at the end. I rang the bell. And home I went to rest. I was anxious. I was looking forward to the holidays. I was even looking forward to the surgery, but terrified of what the outcome would be when they got in there. I had so many questions. I had only a few answers. No one knew the answers. Trust me. I asked them all!

The weekend after my last chemo appointment, I celebrated with some of my dear friends. We shopped a little. We ate. We laughed. We seriously really really laughed. I only had to pop the anti-nausea pills a couple times that day. I was tired, but I made it through. This was a big day. It meant so much. It made me feel so loved.

Later that week I met with my surgeon. You guessed it… lots of questions. And answers I didn’t even know I needed. This is when I found out that I could no longer wear underwire bras. Seriously. I needed to eventually get a lymph sleeve to avoid getting lymphedema. That wouldn’t be for a little while in my case it turned out. The physical therapy would address my concerns of being weak. The Lovenox (blood thinner) I was on would possibly have to stop and a switch to something shorter acting or maybe held longer. The surgeon and medical oncologist would discuss since they weren’t on the same page at the time of the appointment with the surgeon. I was still on two Lovenox shots a day at that point. How quickly can I go back to yoga?

I went into the appointment with one big worry. My upset stomach, my chest, my head. Had it spread? Would we change the approach if we knew right now that it had? Don’t we want to scan and find out? At the end of surgery, these concerns should be alleviated right? It’s the lymph node clear signal I want right?

She said I could shower the day after surgery. This was a big question after my hospital stay a few months earlier. I would go home with pain medications. That was a big one after the port incident. I would need antibiotics after surgery. I would need to remind her about the paper tape that morning. She recommended comfortable bras that offer support like underwire.

And then we went through the holidays. And my emotions became intense.

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