Saturday, August 21, 2010

What A Difference A Year Makes

My three favorite guys- Nick, Fisher and my Dad (taken 8/2009)

This evening I was looking at the photos from our last Hower family trip back home to Milwaukee in August of 2009.  The photo to the left was taken down on Beach Drive along Lake Michigan near my family's house.  On this trip home my Dad climbed down with us to the beach, walked with Fisher on the railroad tracks, searched with us in the backyard "forest" for sticks to burn in the fire pit and even took Fisher and me to the local firehouse to squirt hoses (he was a volunteer firefighter in his day).  That was almost exactly one year ago from today, and eight months before my diagnosis.  How can life change so quickly?  

In light of the news of my Father's passing, the milestone of my last chemo seems fairly uneventful, but I know it's truly a big deal and deserves celebration.  My 8th and last infusion was this past Wednesday and I am officially done. DONE.  Yay Yay!  That also means that my Taxol symptoms started up last night and I've been feeling pretty cruddy.  I'm up and around, but I'm far from pleasant (just ask my family).  It's the same old bone/joint pain I've had before, so I know it only lasts a few days.  I'm also on antibiotics for five days just as a precaution to prevent any fevers or infections from flaring up.  I know it sounds petty, but one of my antibiotics that I take twice a day is a huge horse pill and is constantly getting stuck in my throat.  I know everyone's felt that annoying sensation before- it's the worst!

Monday I meet with my radiologist for the first time to discuss my new treatment.  I expect to be told that I'll have six and a half weeks of radiation every day (five days a week).  It may cause fatigue and a sunburn feel on the right side of my chest where they radiate me, but this sounds pretty tolerable.  I do know that I've made it through surgery and chemo- and that is pretty darn huge.  What's left after radiation?  Just my implant surgery next fall, so by this time next year it will be all over.  Now that's a life change I welcome with open arms.



  1. virginia (Nick's Mom)August 23, 2010 at 6:26 AM

    Congratulations, dearest Kristin, on your last chemo treatment...You got through this terrible ordeal, finally! And with courage, strength, humor and tears -- and we've all been with you every moment. It's wonderful to see this happy picture of your three guys -- keep those moments of joy in your heart! Much love. V.

  2. Love, love, love the wonderful picture of your three guys and the story of your experience one year ago. These are precious memories of your son with his grandpa and I am just so grateful to be able to read about them so I can feel a tiny bit as though I was there, I was with you and I got to know your dad.

    Your last chemo! Woohoo! I think this calls for champagne! :) Ok, ok. When you feel better. In the interim, I will start drinking (wink). My arms are around you giving you a big squeeze. Love you.

  3. So wonderful that you are done with chemo! That is a big hurdle. Most of my patients tell me that radiation is a breeze compared to chemo. I really hope that is your experience too.