Today I visited my wonderful oncologist for my one year checkup following surgery, chemo and radiation. Technically I finished on the August 23rd, 2009 but what's a few days among friends, right? I tried not to be stressed out about it but it's pretty difficult to not think about what could happen. Even though I know there's a very good chance nothing bad will happen. I guess I'll never look at a doctor's visit without a little more butterflies than I did before it all went south.
But without any fanfare and only one little needle poke for lab work, I heard 'normal, normal, normal'. Gotta love being 'normal' for at least something in life! Looking back, it was a long summer of doctors and driving and needles (ugh) and then it was over. Just like that. In the blink of an eye. I wish I had started my blog before treatment because I've forgotten so much about what it felt like to go through it all (yes Susan, you're right again). But then again, I'm not sure I could ever be as eloquent as others I've followed like Suburban Matron. I remember bits and pieces. Like wondering how bad it was going to get and then finding out it wasn't as bad as I had imagined in my head. Not that it was wine and chocolates but it wasn't months of bed rest either.
I remember feeling off. And so tired it was like someone opened a hole in the bottom of my feet and drained every ounce of energy out. Not sleepy, just not. I remember driving. a. lot. Not only for doctor's visits and chemo treatments but 35 days of radiation (but not on the weekends because cancer doesn't grow on the weekends, duh) and the nice lady who ran the ticket booth most days. She tried to learn all of our names and usually got it right! Sadly, her name is one of the things I've forgotten. Also, all of the wonderful nurses who swept in and got me breathing again when my body decided that Taxotere would just. not. do. Debra, who came over with groceries and Connie who drove me home after said non-breathing chemo event. And all my friends who walked, ran and biked for the cause, you rock!
My treatments were all done at the Frauenshuh Cancer Center which had just recently opened. The treatment rooms all look out onto what was to become a healing garden. When I was there it was dirt. Then it was dirt with a tree. Then trees, shrubs and still dirt. Finally, right around the time of my last radiation treatment it was done. It's beautiful and I hope that it helps the people in those same treatment chairs rest a little easier. I took some pictures today because it was too nice of a day to forget.
And now, my one year all clear happens to fall on the same day as my five month marker of wait time for my referral. Two very good reasons to celebrate I think! It's all about getting on with life and man am I ready.