I am officially done with chemotherapy treatments and the neupogen injections that went along with it!!!
You can tell by my small lazy voice and weird laugh in this video that I am pretty messed up from all of the drugs in my system. It was like this every time. My primary chemo nurse Allison always said she could tell when the pre-meds had hit my system because I got droopy eye. Super attractive! hehe
Right after Mike captured the final bits of this victorious moment I received flowers from the staff at St. Mary's and a hug from my nurse. It had been my hope to finish chemo before my 29th birthday and I proudly can say that my blood counts were high enough to make this goal possible. I celebrate my 29th this Saturday :)
According to my doctors it is not as common to finish treatment as fast as I did because usually a 'chemo holiday' is required to get blood cells back up to a safe level. And the usual more common protocol is to do chemo every 3 weeks for breast cancer patients. But I did it dose-dense every 2 weeks at the advice of my oncologist. "To get it over with!" she had said.
And get it over with I did. With the help of the neupogen shots and some will-power I was able to keep truckin' right along!
It felt good walking out of the treatment room for the last time, however I have struggled with mixed emotions about being finished. The only way I can explain how I have felt about this part of my treatment being complete is with a prison analogy...
Pretty much it's felt like I have been in jail for several months and I haven't seen daylight since my diagnosis. Now that I am done chemo it's like I have been set free. And yet I can't seem to leave my cell. Because I don't know how.
It really is like nothing else I have felt before and I definitely don't expect most people to really understand it. Even when I had my last of the white blood cell booster shots today I cried when my home care nurse Irene wished me good luck and I realized I wouldn't have to take the neupogen out of the fridge each day. She praised me for having had such a good attitude and I totally fell apart and bawled as she gave me a hug.
It's funny how you can get so used to something even if it's not exactly pleasant. When it's gone you almost don't know what to do with yourself. I won't miss the IVs or those tummy injections (my poor body has had enough needles)...but I realized I will miss the daily visits from kind people like Irene and the amazing support from the staff at St. Mary's in Sechelt.
It is because of the people who have supported me that I have really been able to get through this portion of my recovery. I couldn't have gotten through this as well as I did without all of the kindness and comfort from the people around me.
So, I think it goes without saying, but I will say it anyway... A lot has happened in such a short time for Mike and I...
In just recent weeks we had the Relay for Life in White Rock, moving day with great helpers, visits from best buddies Tanis and Shannon, Mike's sister Ange had a baby boy, some minor upgrades with the new house have been started and I have enjoyed picking raspberries daily from our garden.
To share all this latest goodness here's a bunch of June and early July photos. Thanks to my family members who provided shots from the relay event. For anyone who is less than happy that their picture has been posted here, tough beans! I'm bald! ;)
|Shanny & Me|
|Waiting at The Shed in Gibsons for halibut tacos|
|My awesome "Team Ashley" at the Relay for Life in White Rock|
|Mamka and her Survivor bonnet|
|Uncle Ben, Auntie Dianne and Aunt Karen – relaxing a bit before the big event|
|Walking the Survivor's Lap - note my 'royal' wave|
|Moving Day Crew - (Tanis playing photographer!)|
|Tanny claiming her bedroom in our new house|
|Proud home owner (We have since mowed the lawn!)|
|All done chemo!|
|Uncle Mike and baby Marcus|
|We have a plethora of fruit trees in our yard|
|Aquamarine painted room (but will forever be known as... The Orange Room)|
|Freshly picked from the garden|
|Somebody else is enjoying her new living quarters|
|Yes! and Yes!|