8.05.2012

The Home Stretch

It's Sunday morning and I'm not only out of bed, I'm sitting straight up with my eyes open and the sun shining in.

My infusion nurse could offer no explanation as to why some rounds are moderately miserable (like this round) and some rounds leave me in bed for days on end without food or daylight, whimpering my way through the hours. I'm not being dramatic. It is a sick like no other.

Round 11 wasn't that bad. I was up a little. I ate a little. I caught up on my BravoTV shows a little. I even wasted 5 minutes of my life that I'll never get back on the Kardashians. And here I am on a Sunday wondering if I might just venture out into the world today.

We met with my oncology PA on Wednesday before treatment and she went over the end-of-game plan. I easily volunteered to wait 3 weeks between treatments, not only because it was inevitable with the way my blood counts go, but better for my overall mental state. It's amazing what an extra week of normal can do for my anxiety levels and lowering my ability to burst into tears without much provocation.

So August 22nd is officially on the books. Round 12 is finally here after many delays and it's officially official. As I laid in bed at the beginning of February, I wondered how I was ever going to survive being this sick 11 more times. And to think I only have to do it once more is amazing. AMAZING! For once, I think I will look forward to treatment.

On Friday, August 24th I'll return to get disconnected from my pump. On that day, the chemo drugs will be pumped into my body for the very last time. THE VERY LAST TIME. FOREVER. AMEN.

We were surprised to find out that my PICC line will come out as soon as my pump comes off. No waiting for another clean CT scan. No waiting for a follow up with my oncologist. The pump comes off and the PICC comes out.

This is huge on a lot of levels beyond my obvious vanity, the weird tan line I'm going to be rocking on my left bicep and my incessant need to be mildly fashionable. The relief is mainly for me because I know it will be a relief for Merrick. For him, my noodles represent medicine and sickness. As long as they are in, mommy is sick. As long as they are in, mommy can't go swimming. As long as they are in, I will have to disappear for days at a time. They have been his visual reminder that all his not right and safe in his world.

With the PICC line out, I can return to being a regular ol' mommy, and I know this will be a huge load off his little shoulders.

The hole should be closed on within 24-hours and I promised him I'd be swimming in the deep end with him as soon as I felt well enough. Huge steps toward healing for a little boy.

I'll have a follow up appointment with my oncology team 3 weeks after my final treatment and at that time I'm sure they'll schedule my CT scan. They aren't expecting anything surprising, so this scan will be my baseline for which future scans will be compared.

I will then see them every 3 months for the first two years to check my tumor markers and get a scan every 6 months. As a reminder, if I can make it through the first two years with clean scans, I have an 80% chance of no recurrence. Then it will be on to the 5 year mark and a 99% chance of no recurrence.

I'm also making plans for my return to wellness, primarily through alternative and holistic measures. There will be plenty of whole food, exercise, detoxing and renewing to blog about. My most important focus being on getting this toxic CRAP out of my body. My understanding is it takes the chemo drugs 30 days to get out of my system, and I plan on helping them on their way. I'm all about expediting their journey. But more on that once I get past August 24th.

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