Today was my official last day of radiation treatment, yay! It's been six and a half weeks, a total of thirty three sessions, every weekday for a month and a half. Honestly, it was pretty simple. I got to know the nurses and technicians well, they scooted me in and out pretty quickly, my "burning" reaction was pretty mild as was my fatigue. Every Wednesday I met with my radiologist, Dr. Brackman, and he monitored my progress and reactions. Nick came with me today for my last session. He got to see the ginormous radiation machine that I laid under every day, and sat in on my last evaluation with the doc. I have full permission to enjoy our "thank God it's over trip" in Mexico in two weeks, as long as I wear a t-shirt in the sun. While I am scheduled to see Dr. Brackman again in six weeks, it's just an office visit, to see how I'm feeling. Sounds good.
Nick kept pressing the doctor to give us "symptoms" to watch out for in the coming weeks, months and years. The doctor really couldn't give us anything definitive, which made Nick a bit crazy. So finally, the doctor said, if you have a new symptom that you cannot identify it's source, give it three days and then call me. If it's something major like dragging your leg behind you, call me the same day. Comforting? I'm not so sure.
I brought flowers for my technicians, my nurse, Lupe who also finished treatment today, the front desk gal and even the valet woman who's been surprisingly one of my biggest cheerleaders, her name is Sylvia. It's been pretty humbling the women I've met through this journey. From the gals I've been seeing every day in the treatment waiting rooms, to women I meet at the grocery stores. First a shout out to the cute blond I saw daily getting treatment for ovarian cancer. She had to stand on hands and knees on the table that I got to lie on, while they attached cords from inside her private areas into the radiation machine. Really? Is there no dignity? You would not believe what some people have to endure through their treatment. I hope hers is over soon.
Then there are the grocery store angels. One I met at AJ's. I was with Fisher and saw this older woman kind of stalking me. I knew right then that she also was going through cancer treatment and wanted to talk to me. I see people like this every day. We kind of have homing devices. So- at check out, she asked me if I'm going through treatment and said she is too. She gives me a big hug and a metal angel coin to keep in my pocket. Her name was Bonnie.
Just yesterday, I was checking out of Trader Joe's with all the shades of pink gerber daisies that I was bringing as gifts to radiation today, and a woman commented "aren't those the most beautiful flowers! What are you doing with them?" I answer that I am giving them to my radiation nurses to celebrate the end of my treatment. She stopped, hugged me, blessed me and asked about my family and how we are all doing. She said she would pray for me and keep me in her heart. Her name was Paula.
And tomorrow, my MOM arrives first thing in the morning. Let the weekend of family celebration begin! Four of my favorite things: family, birthday, ending treatment and Halloween, all at once! I'd better get to bed to prepare for all the fun ahead. I'm feeling truly happy, loved and almost peaceful.