That’s it. We are done. I know there should be this grand celebration, fireworks of emotions. But to be honest, I am just too tired. Just give me a week and the fireworks will come out. I have watched my mother’s cut-out paper numbers dwindle down. And despite the fact that 59 followed 60, 29 followed 30, 9 followed 10 I sort of didn’t believe that the final day would ever come.
Mom did what Mom does best…she went all out. Mom made signs and Phil hats and bought candy and made cookies. Mom blew up balloons and found toys and made everyone who walked through the door celebrate with us. How can you be sick or sad when Sanda is in charge? And as much as I didn’t want the final poisoning, I couldn’t help but smile.
Maria Jesus was our final chemo buddy. I love this woman with all of my soul because she is always down for anything, including wearing a silly hat and playing with silly toys with my mom. And she is always positive. It was exactly what my mom needed because as much as I tried, positive was not necessarily where my head was going to go. It was pretty inevitable that I was going to go to sleepy land.
The ritual was the same. Same order of drugs, same icky feelings, same wanting it to just be over. And yes, I wanted it over. But I also didn’t want it over. The nurses have been my constants throughout this entire process. They have become my family. They have explained every drug and side effect (even if it was in rapid Spanish). They held my hand, gave me advice, asked how I was feeling and asked again when they didn’t believe my answer. These woman give me kisses and hugs every time I walk through the door, ask about my mom (if she wasn’t with me), told me I was beautiful when my head was shaved. They know I don’t like needles and made sure every stick was as minimal as possible. They called me when my blood cells were too low. They lectured me when I got a sunburn. These women literally saved my life. Yes, doctors are important and mine is amazing, but if anything happens, I go to Day Care first and Maria Rosa is yoda. So giving these incredible women their notes (which I had my students proofread for Spanish mistakes) and their necklaces (specifically picked out for them and brought from the states) made me get really emotional. No amount of words or silver can ever truly express my gratitude and love for them. And the only thing keeping me together is the knowledge that I get to go to Day Care every 45 days for a year to get my port flushed with Heparin.
When the last bell chimed indicated the tin foil chemo was finished, I gave the best jazz hands that I could. But I was tired and weak and loopy. Final goodbyes were said. It was the last time Mom will see my nurses. Candy was distributed and decorations were taken down. Off we went to meet Maria Jesus’ husband, who was our ride home. At that is it. The final one. I am beyond grateful to everyone who has gone through this with me. I cannot even begin to thank my mom enough for stopping her life for me.
And now I just need to get through a few more cell-boosting shots and a PET scan.
2 thoughts on “Chemotherapy Treatment Number 12”
Kim , now that I have finished sobbing, and I’m sure I’m not alone, I just want to say how happy I am for you that this is all over. I feel like I have gotten to know your mom through this incredible blog and I must admit that when she gave birth to you the apple did not fall far from the tree. You are two of the strongest women I have ever known. I have, for the last few weeks, thought often of you and the end of your treatments and what it would be like for you to say goodbye to these incredible people who have surrounded and supported you at this most difficult time in your life. You have been on a journey that none of us can even imagine and they were there by your side every step of the way. No doubt your amazing attitude and positivity lifted them as well. Your new normal will be like nothing any of us can imagine either. You deserve all the best of everything , forever.
Again, thank you for allowing us into this very personal journey and helping us become better people through your words and actions along the way. I know it’s not over just yet, so I look forward to more blogs, more wonderful wacky humor (and socks!) and amazing positive spirit. Sending love ❤️
What Nancy said! I’m so happy for you that you are done. I’ve been so impressed with your spirit, your strength and your honesty through all of this. Thank you for sharing yourself with the rest of us even when you were at rock bottom. You are an inspiration, Kim.