...and just like that, chemo is done. Words, months ago, I'd never thought I'd utter, but now am so happy that I can. It seemed to fly by while also being the longest winter of my life. As the chemicals inside of me subside, each day gets easier, the colors brighter, the music better.
The actual last day of chemo was bittersweet. There were lots of tears, plenty of high-fives, and always some laughter. In fact, we—EVERY single one of my immediate family— were having so much fun at one point that the woman next to us yelled through the curtain for us to quiet down. I peeked my head through, as if to show her that I, too, am receiving treatment, not just with a traveling band of Buchas causing chaos. I apologized, and hoping for some compassionate camaraderie, explained that it was my last treatment. "Happy for you, sad for me" was the reply in a tone that does not open the door for friendship. Well, okay...back the curtain went and us Buchas sat around for the duration of treatment attempting to do our best whisper, at which none of us are very good.
Amid the celebration was a ton of anxiety for me. I could not be happier to have that part complete, but knowing I wasn't going to proactively be getting treatment anymore and seeing my "team" weekly was a heavy realization. The good of it all far outweighs the bad, of course, and I am ready for the next step. I will always think of chemo fondly, even though it ruined Caramel Macchiatos for me forever. As Lyn pointed out, it's a good thing on account of those macchiatos being all crap. She would be very pleased by the neon blue Fla-vor-ice I'm eating right now.
The rest of the weekend was filled with more love and togetherness before the medicine started to knock me down. It was like all the other post-treatment weeks, but when I started to come out of it...wow. I danced in my kitchen for the first time in months. I went to the grocery store and danced there, too. Taking Tilly to school was heavenly!!! I mean, the freakin' car wash blew my mind. It was like nothing I have ever seen before. This newfound respect for life and everything that comes with it is eye-opening and pretty powerful. It is astounding what cancer and two months home-bound can do for someone. Grateful.
Thursday is a big day - my scans. I will have a bone scan and a full-body scan to determine the score of Becky vs. Cancer. Dr. Silber said she is optimistic so I am trying to be too. Anxiety is in full-swing however as another waiting game is ahead. The "what-ifs" circle in my mind and all rationale seems to go out of the window. If I don't reign myself in someone does, and I am able to breathe again. This push and pull will never be over, I'm afraid. For the rest of my life I will wait for results.
I had an appointment with my cardiologist today. I will continue to have echocardiograms for the next year to see the effect chemotherapy and Herceptin have had, and will have, on my heart. The results today were not ideal, but not surprising either. The magnitude of what I am enduring really hit me. It does from time-to-time, but this one threw me. With scans Thursday and surgery coming up in two weeks on the 18th, and the pace at which we're moving, it's a lot. But then I remind myself of how excited I was back in the fall to one day be in April and have surgery around the corner. That it meant that I got through some serious stuff. That has been my motto since the very beginning. "Just get through," is what my dear Jenn said to me right before I was even diagnosed. I was in that waiting game over the biopsy and what the possibilities meant, what I would do if it was. Jenn, who has proven to be one of the strongest people I know in the face of adversity and beyond, said..."just get through." She is so, so right. That's all we can hope for and dammit, I've done it. So here I sit typing, anxious for Thursday, anxious for surgery, and I take a deep breath and just get through.
My "break" as I've been calling it has been fantastic. I have had energy, am not too nauseous, have seen amazingly special people (read Buchas and Bernsohns, Jay and Kate specifically), and have really enjoyed myself. I will use that as motivation to get ready for what's ahead. 2017 Becky would have been psyched to be here.
Thank you all for listening.