Chemo, check!

Chemo is over. Chemo is over. Chemo is over. Chemo is over. I’m up at 4:30 with insta-menopause/chemo insomnia. My stomach is doing backflips and I’m going to be sick for a week. I don’t care. Chemo is over. Chemo is over. I still have my hair. I still have my friends and family. My cat still purrs so much you have to scare him to make him stop. My dog is still a housework-inducing ball of fluff, still neurotic and still lovable despite all that. More surgery and radiation in the future. Chemo is over! Hallelujah. Now time to take some more meds.

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About leftbreast

I have had breast cancer. I was diagnosed at 47, and am now 49. I have finished "active treatment," two surgeries, chemo, radiation, monoclonal antibodies. These days, I only take a drug to suppress my uptake of estrogen, since my tumor was highly reactive to that hormone. I have been married to my husband Pete for 21 years. I have a stepdaughter, Maureen, 30, and a daughter, Erin, 10. I've been a freelance magazine journalist for 20-plus years, covering everything from Chinese foreign policy to Catholic nuns to endangered species. I have had a great life. I have lived in Asia and all over the United States. I have spent nights with tree-sitters in Oregon and with astronomers at the Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaii. I've been to a cocktail party on the poopdeck of a British destroyer docked in Shanghai. I've taken the bus to Tibet, and tramped through the cloud forests of Panama with biologists. A magazine sent me on a raft trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon; another sent me to cooking school for a week. I have spent time with celebrities, presidents and heroin dealers. I love my work. I have a loving, supportive family and more friends than I probably deserve. I have had the space and time to camp, ski, cycle, garden, cook and spoil my pets (an Australian shepherd, a German shepherd and a tabby cat). If it all ended tomorrow, I would have to say that it has been a really, really good ride. When I was in thick of treatment, I was simply fighting for more time. Now, I'm trying to connect the experience of cancer with the rest of my life, with the time that's been won. I hope the cancer never comes back, but if it does, I'll be ready. That's what this blog is about.
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13 Responses to Chemo, check!

  1. Laurie p. says:

    Such a thrilling feeling!! So happy for you.
    XO, laurie

  2. Dick Guthrie (Tio) says:

    WHEW!!!
    Sigh of relief was heard up and down the Central Coast.
    Hang in there.
    Love,
    Guthries

  3. Franklin Stone says:

    Hooooray! A sigh of relief also heard up and down the East Coast.
    xxxooo Franklin

  4. Christina says:

    Congratulations! Too funny, my friend Allison had her last treatment this week as well. We are hoping to celebrate this weekend, depending how she is feeling.

  5. Dot says:

    What a great feeling !!! Happy for you !!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Heather,

    I am so happy for you that you are finished with chemo! I’ve become a fan of your blog and writing and will continue avidly to read your writing!

  7. That’s such huge milestone! I hope you feel well enough to celebrate!! And wow, making it through with your hair — you really are a successful poster child! Congrats.

    • leftbreast says:

      Melanie, I’ve got about 75 percent of my hair. I am very grateful, but can’t wait until one month post-chemo, when I can get it cut, blow it dry, and begin to look normal again. Eyelashes and eyebrows still thinning, hoping not to lose them, though I hear that often happens post-chemo…

  8. Joyce Bolton says:

    Way to go! You did the dignicaps? How was it – how cold were they? I heard -5C, is that right? The penguins are at -30C. My daughter did penguin then switched last chemo to elastogel helmets at -30. She has some shedding but we don’t know if it is more or less than she would have had on the Penguins at the 2nd chemo.
    Please e mail as I am not good at finding a site the second time and I’m afraid I’d miss your reply.- jbgagirlnow@gmail.com

    • leftbreast says:

      Dignicap gets down to only 5 degrees Celcius, about 41 Fahrenheit. Plenty cold, but not as cold as the Penguin caps. If I ever have a recurrence, I’m not sure that I would do the Penguins. TOO COLD. But I hope I don’t have to go there..

  9. Ellen McDermott says:

    Hurray, you brave woman! Thinking of you every day… Rest and rejoice.

  10. Nancy J Cooper says:

    Congrats on finishing chemo. Its a huge leap for you, regardless of what is to come. I too celebrated in a drugged stupor, but it was OVER! You can celebrate each and every day to come.
    I am four and a half years out from stage 3, er,pr positive, 5/18 nodes positive bc. There is light at the end of the tunnel, the road is long, but its an incredibly sunny day here in East Tenn. and I am alive and well enough to enjoy it.
    But this is YOUR DAY. my kitties and dog were such a comfort.
    Nancy

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