Monday, April 20, 2009
Today, 4/20/09, at 4:20 PM, the IV machine beep-beeped for the last time. I thought I would cry, but I didn't. The boys were all there, I had had a good two-hour nap in the chair, and I just wanted the hell out at that point. I told the nurses no offense, but I never wanted to see them again. (I'm sure they've never heard THAT one before!)
When John and I arrived this morning at 9:15 AM, I was weepy without end. Brownie, 92-year-old Brownie, who volunteers in oncology, who brings me warm blankets and hot lunch and cold applesauce, and, when asked the secret to a long life doesn't hesitate when she answers: "I guess I just don't worry very much"....... anyway, Brownie was the first to say good morning, and unfortunately she got the brunt of my didn't-get-enough-sleep-last-night tears.
Gunda took my weight and blood pressure, and Susan drew my blood. That hour and a half wait for the lab reports was one of the longest of my life. Luckily, all was well, and my twelfth chemo infusion was under way. After some IV Pepcid, steroid, and Benadryl, the last bag of Taxol was hung. At that point, I knew that freedom from having my port poked was a mere three hours away. I slept through most of it, thanks to the Benadryl.
I became particularly close to one nurse, Anne. She was the witness to several of my breakdowns, as well as the one who broke the news to me that Matt, a 20-something young man I sat next to on occasion, had died. When she hugged me on the way out today, I did shed a few tears, and told her that I couldn't have done it without her.
That evening, Grant, Bennett, John, and I ate sopapillas from La Casita and drank Ibarra Mexican Hot Chocolate around the fire pit, each making a little celebratory, ceremonial toast. Then Grant and Bennett light sabered around the backyard. How I love watching them become Jedi in their minds and bodies and souls. It was after 9 PM before we finally came in; if you know me, letting my kids stay up that late on a school night is virtually unheard of! But I've learned a lot, and one of the things I've learned is that special events allow us all to break the rules. I've also learned how easy it is to take a sick day (thanks Klayton and Suzanne!), and that I should do it more often.
So I've come to end of this chapter, and am going to close the book for awhile. There will be more..... radiation, hormone therapy, lab tests for ever and ever, but I'm letting all that go for now. At least for the couple three weeks until radiation begins.
For now, here's a toast to 82%! According the stats, I have an 82% chance of living 10 years with no relapse. I'm going to make sure and take Brownie's advice, and not worry about the other 18%!
At about 9:15 PM, 12 hours after arriving in oncology this morning, we popped the final balloon: