It’s over. My nine week chemo sentence came to a somewhat uneventful end yesterday morning when my last chemo IV was removed. But guess what? Just like my first day in the chemo chair, it took the nurses four attempts to land a successful IV in my left (non-phlebitis) arm. Yikes.

Dawn and I spent a couple of hours on Sunday baking lots of good cookies to give to the nurses yesterday. (Come to think of it, I should have taken a photo of the home decorated tin we put the cookies in for them — it was kinda cool) They seemed to like the cookies, and it seemed the least I could do for all of these people who have devoted their working lives to helping cancer patients through some of the most brutal treatments imaginable. They are living saints.

I’m also sad that I didn’t bring my camera to the treatment, because four or so of the nurses showed up at the end to sing me the “last treatment” song, sung to the tune of “Happy Birthday.” As in, “Happy last treatment to you…” It was festive and touching all at the same time. I said some very brief goodbyes before saying to Dawn, “Let’s get the hell out of here.” Nurse Nettie said, “You know, I’m actually gonna miss you guys.” And I told her I’d miss them too — a little bit — as I held my thumb and index finger a millimeter apart from one another. Nurse Marion told me I shouldn’t lie. I didn’t mean it as a lie. I will miss them in a way. It’s just too bad that I had to meet them all in a place I hope to never see again.

Oh, and they gave me a latex chemo glove balloon too:

happy chemo glove head

mike with chemo head

I came home after the treatment and fell right to sleep. I slept all day, and didn’t wake up until almost 5pm. That is how tiring the treatment can be.

It’s still hard to believe that it’s over. Going there, getting poked and feeling like shit has become such a part of my day to day routine. Of course, it’s still hard to believe that I ever was diagnosed with cancer or had my right testicle removed either. It’s all so hard to believe. Maybe some day I’ll actually believe it at all.

When I asked a nurse how long it would take for my hair to grow back — something I’m very much looking forward to — she said, ahem, “two to six…” and when I heard this first part it sounded great, because I thought she was going to say “weeks.” But she didn’t. She said “months.” Yikes.

Thanks to everyone who has called or emailed or sent a card congratulating me on the end of chemo in my life. I’m sorry I haven’t been overjoyed at the notion myself — I suppose my body and mind are still in a sort of slothful way, and I haven’t been able to process all of this yet.


One Response to “chemo-be-gone!”

  1. What a tough treatment… But I’m so glad you are done with it!

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