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.


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:

    Sigh of relief was heard up and down the Central Coast.
    Hang in there.

  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.-

    • 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.

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