Coming to a Close

What a whirlwind week it’s been! One blood test. One minor surgery. A mammogram and ultrasound. One CAT scan. And I got three tattoos… not by choice, they’re for radiation.

They look like ugly black heads.

The CAT scan was quick and easy. They took images of my chest while breathing normally and also while holding a deep breath. I’ll most likely hold a breath while they radiate to protect my heart. They also placed my tattoos so that they can always line up the equipment correctly.

Removing the port was my favorite medical endeavor this week. A “happy surgery”, as the nurse called it. I was almost overjoyed to be there. I didn’t require any medications to help me relax. I actually remained awake for significantly longer than I did before any surgery thus far. I was awake while they wheeled me into the O.R. (it was O.R. 8, which is my favorite number). I was awake while they set up the room. While they hooked me up to various machines. While the doctors cracked jokes back and forth at each other. The last thing I remember was being told I should start feeling a little sleepy and then the medicine making its way, coldly, up my arm. I woke up after a nice refreshing nap, free of my port and in a happy (loopy) state. I drank three cups of apple juice, told one of the nurses that she could get my denim shirt and Old Navy, then she wheeled me to the front. “Thanks for the ride!” I called back as I hopped in Brian’s truck.

And now, the much anticipated winter break has finally arrived. Under normal circumstances, winter break feels like an eternity away. It looms in the distance, like a tiny speck on the horizon as we arrive back at work for a brand new school year. It seems even further away when chemo is mixed in with the normal stresses of life. I made it. I can’t believe I made it. I will now have about a week and a half free of treatment. Free of doctors. Free of cancer.

Time for Christmas. Time to spread the love around. Bake lots of cookies. Hug my family. Do fun things. Watch the Ronda Rousey fight. And celebrate a new year… a year much better than the one that I have managed to survive.

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