Crystal Kicks Cancer: Halfway Home
114 days ago my wife began chemotherapy for the breast cancer she was diagnosed with back in May. She received her last infusion on Thursday of last week. She was so excited to be done with it she cried. We've done that a lot and it's always been the good kind of cry.
As I write this Crystal is at home resting while her body tries to restore itself to normal after the sixth and final dose of heavy drugs. She tried to work yesterday but just couldn't quite do it. The fatigue, her worst symptom, is really overwhelming this time around.
After the surgery and chemo two of the four steps are complete. Radiation will be next followed by the exchange of her tissue expanders for permanent implants. She's halfway home!
Here are Crystal's words from Facebook after the last infusion:
It feels good to say that today. Done with chemo. Actually, I will say it louder, done with chemo and raise my hand in the air! I survived six rounds of those powerful drugs Taxotere and Cytoxan every three weeks. I expect this final round to hit me the hardest and I think it already has. The fatigue is worse. The Benadryl they give me as one of the four premeds usually puts me to sleep for a short while. I think I actually slept most of the time I was there this morning and then came home and slept again. The doctor looked at my fingernail and agreed with me that the one on my right hand looks like it will eventually fall off. I’ll keep watching the other fingernails too. But they will grow back, it’ll just take a few weeks.
It was nice to see the smiles and congratulations from all the employees today as I said “Last time!” When the receptionist cut of my medical band, we did a little dance and cheer all the way to the elevator. She said she really doesn’t dance but would for me. I said you have to at least move a little bit to celebrate! I asked about the bell and they do have one of those down in radiation that I can ring when I’m all done with that treatment. I look forward to that day!
I will still have my port in for quite a while. Last I heard, when I go in for my next surgery (probably sometime next fall or late summer) I’ll have it removed. In the meantime, it needs to get flushed every four weeks. So I have already made an appointment to go back up to lab, which should just be a short 20 minute procedure or so.
Next step is to visit with the radiation doctor. That will be a big learning day as we figure out what is all involved in the radiation treatment. More than likely it will not start until January.
Danielle is the fabulous nurse in the picture with Andy and me. She was my nurse most of the time while I was getting chemo. She is wonderful!
I get asked about my strength through all of this so I thought I'd share. It is found in Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble; for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Thank you to my coworker for sharing this verse with me before my surgery and placing it neatly in a frame for me to read often.
You are all so very special to us. I cannot thank you enough for following my journey and how much you have touched our lives. God Bless each and every one of you.