Months To Years Summer 2018 MTY_Summer2018_v7 - Page 24

to my first chemo. Of course, I’d read a lot about what it On the last day of chemo my blood work was the would be like, but there was still a large dollop of fear of strongest it had been during the previous four-and-a-half the unknown with the first treatment. Would I have any months. I had tolerated the treatment as well as could allergic reactions? Would they (oh please, oh please!) give be expected, and I emerged from it as strong as I could me enough anti-nausea drugs so I wouldn’t barf all night? possibly be. I “graduated” at Dr. S’s office, knowing that Would it hurt dripping into my veins? Most importantly, he and his team might not have saved my life, but they would it work? gave me the best chance at more life. I am most fortunate that my chemo experience was pretty uneventful throughout once I got past the initial nerves. My “ oncologist started every infusion himself and he and Nurse K. were our constant companions for the several boring hours we spent there each time. Husband H. was there with me for almost every treatment, and even brought the dog along once. I had dear friends accompany me to treatments as well. A sweet friend flew in from Canada for one treatment during a huge rainstorm, which knocked out the power in various parts of the city. We ended up talking nonstop for two days at my house instead of going to chemo. I didn’t mind that at all. My daughter made a wonderful dinner for us that evening. But With no lymph node involvement, I was originally scheduled for just radiation after surgery, but my ki-67 percentage warranted a more aggressive recommendation: the addition of chemotherapy to my post-surgical regimen. Much like hearing the cancer diagnosis, it was one of those “stop the world, I want to get off” moments. “ All in all, I had very little fatigue, although a short afternoon nap then I spent the middle of the night violently ill. It was as if Lady Chemo, as I have since dubbed her, said “I’ve let you off easy so far, Miss Barbara. Now it’s my turn to deliver one last parting shot.” I spent the next four days recovering, feeling like I had a full-blown flu. Touché, Lady Chemo. You are a ruthless killing machine, and that’s exactly what you’re supposed to be. You are the definition of passion in acquiring and vanquishing your target. I’m very thankful that you walloped me only once during our time together. I am reverential of your power, not only to kill this cancer, but also to bring me to my knees to demonstrate just how powerful you are. I thank you for all you was always on the agenda. And despite being sent home did for me but, man, I hope our paths never, ever cross with a barrage of anti-nausea drugs, I had to take only again. one pill during the entire course of treatment. My hair started growing back immediately. It was short for As predicted, and with amazing precision, two weeks a long time but grew bit by bit, visually showing that this after the first infusion, 75 percent of my hair fell out in chapter was becoming part of my past, not my present. one day. It was stunning that I could stuff the bathroom I didn’t lose any fingernails, which I (thankfully) didn’t wastebasket with handful after handful of hair, and it know could happen. I slowly stopped wearing my wig and seemed to just keep coming. It was surreal. I thought I toques and even answered the door one day without one. would sob if this happened, but I didn’t. To me this meant My favorite UPS guy didn’t run screaming down the steps only one thing: the chemo was doing its job. when he saw me. Although husband H. told me I looked 24