This morning when I woke up I was feeling soooo tired and exhausted. I could hardly get dressed. I could hardly fix my hair, the little hair that I have left, that I had to ask for help. The radiation has finally done a number on me. But I am proud to say today was my last day of treatment. I went through six weeks of radiation at the Buffett Cancer Center - Monday through Friday, and six weeks of chemotherapy - Monday through Sunday. I never missed a single treatment. I have been told not everyone makes it through all of their treatment - they have to stop because they can't handle it. It is a good thing it ended today, because I don't know if I could have handled another day. I get 3 weeks off and then start another chemo pill, which is a stronger dose. I hope I can handle this one like I handled the last one.
Today, as I laid on the cold, hard radiation table under my warm sheet with Tom Petty playing, I cried, tears rolling down my cheeks. I was happy and sad at the same time, but I cried because I was scared. Scared that my treatments were ending and what the future holds for me. I talked with my radiologist the other day and he assured me that my reaction was very normal and that the radiation would continue to work up to 6 - 8 weeks after treatment stopped. I get an MRI, the first one since my treatment, on October 30th. But Dr. Zhen tells me it won't tell much because there will still be a lot of swelling because of the treatments. The MRI after that will tell more. I really like the radiologist, Dr. Ken Zhen. He told me if I wanted to come up for a social visit I could come any time (and I think he meant it, which is one reason I really like him). He said I should start getting my energy back in a few weeks, which means I should be in tip top shape for the Sketti for Nettie benefit!
When I came out of treatment today there were a lot of my family and friends there to cheer me on and watch me ring the bell. They were wearing hats and crowns and waving pom poms and holding lots of signs and ringing little bells. But MY BELL wasn't little! And Lord knows I rang that bell until it about fell off the wall!! It felt so good to ring it, that I couldn't stop myself! Then I had to tell myself, "Stop, Nettie, stop!!". Here is a link to a video of ringing my bell (thanks for the video Mariano!): https://youtu.be/iqWhBYqggQM (you may need to copy and paste the link, but it is worth watching). And get this, my sisters handed out champagne glasses and poured champagne and we all toasted!
To celebrate ending treatment, I wanted to do random acts of kindness over the next few days. Today we handed out 30 lottery tickets to friends, family, and strangers. I wonder if the valet guy has ever been tipped with a lottery ticket before?? There is a candy dish on the counter right when you come out of treatment, and we bought a few bags of candy to fill that up. Lord knows I have eaten my share of candy from that dish before! There is a table in the waiting area that has a big puzzle to do, so we donated 2 puzzles for that. And we wrote kind messages on sticky notes to put all over. I have a list of other kind things I will be doing when I have more energy.
I still have my physical therapy 2 days a week, but I have 3 weeks off from my other treatments, which I am calling a vacation. So if anybody wants to do something get a hold of me because I love being around people and not being by myself. And I will be in my new house this weekend and I will be spending part of the day by myself there (although I will have Tate with me).
- Ring a bell loudly
- I DID make it through 6 weeks of treatment
- Be a tough girl when I need to be
- Believe I have been going through this for 2 1/2 months already
- Believe the leaves are changing
- Be scared of things I cannot control