Reflections from the end-station….

October 19, 2010

Well it is finally done. I am finished with chemo, I daren’t say forever, but at least for now. For those readers who aren’t facebook friends, then here is a little résumé of final chemo day….

8:35 Taking my pre-chemo meds: the big round white one is Allipurinol against gout, the three little ones are corticosteroids (binyrebarkhomron for the Danes) which work against nausea AND are part of my treatment, the two yellow ones are Ondansetron which works against nausea as does the big capsule, Emend and the two small capsules, Vogalene.  I don’t even want to think about what the nausea would be like if I didn’t take these…..

10:00 ish I got started. I took two nurses 3 attempts to find a vein that worked (this is not a record which is two nurses with 6 attempts), but in the end they got a really good one on the inner side of my arm and I didn’t really have any problems with the chemo.

10:45 ish Started the last bag of chemo. Took another two Vogalene for the nausea.

12:45 ish Finished!

Then hubbie drove me home and I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in my sofa nest feeling rotten. To be honest, a bit of an anticlimax, but it’s not really like I felt like celebrating!

The strange thing is that I DO feel happy and relieved that it is finally over, but surprisingly the overriding feeling I have is sadness – NOT what I was expecting.

I’ve been really focused for the last 4 months on reaching this point, but in the last few days the Doctor and Nurse have been talking to me about what comes next and I have started to realise that I’m not quite at the end of the story yet.

The nurse yesterday told me about a patient who had described to her the same feeling. She likened being on chemo to being on a train – the chemo train. You have a general idea of the timetable, but in my case there were a few surprises and delays along the way which meant I reached the end-station 3 weeks later than expected. While you are on the chemo-train you only have the energy to focus on surviving the physical aspects, everything else gets set aside. The thing is that I was expecting that I was going to end up back at the same station I got on at. I LOVED my life and I didn’t really want to change anything about it – well actually I had just started my own business so had just made a major change which I was very excited about. But now I’m getting off the chemo train I am realising that there is no way back to that very same station. It looks a lot the same, but the world definitely looks different and it is going to take me some time to come to terms with that. It was such a rush getting on that train, that I never had a chance to figure out what was going on. I can say “I have cancer” to others (I don’t much like doing it because it always elicits a response of shock and upset), but when I say it to myself I still really don’t believe it is true…. But now I am off the train I’m going to have to come to learn to accept it…

The other thing is that I hadn’t really seen beyond the chemo-train, but now I’m realising that I get a little break at this station, but then I have to get on the radiotherapy bus and I’m starting to realise what that is going to involve. And even when I get off the bus, the journey doesn’t really finish there, but in fact will continue in some way for at least 5 years (which is when I will finally be considered cancer free if I haven’t had any relapses).

But hey, no more needles for a while. No more chemo, I hope ever, but I settle for now. And after this week I am going to start feeling better, and after about 4 weeks I will have a fully functioning immune system once more! And one of these days, within the next 2-4 weeks I WILL have that glass of champagne that I absolutely couldn’t face yesterday………

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2 Responses to “Reflections from the end-station….”

  1. rozzibee Says:

    I totally get that feeling. The weirdest thing for me was not being at the hospital all the time. It was really scary!

    Great news that chemo is over though! x


  2. […] it is now 14 days since I had my last chemo and I guess that in fact it is today that is really the last day – at least the last day of my […]

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