My Last Chemo and I'm Sad
After 20 weeks and 16 Rounds of Chemotherapy (4 AC and 12 Taxol), tomorrow is my last day of chemo treatment and Im very emotional about it! When I received my breast cancer diagnosis back in December 2022, the scariest part of cancer to me was the thought of having to have chemotherapy and losing my hair. I cried so much thinking about it. I read about the side effects and everything scared me. Then came my first round of AC (Adriamycin/Cyclophosphamide) treatment and it was awful. I felt like shit and after 8 weeks and the 4 rounds of that I felt the end to this chemo hell couldn't come fast enough. I mean 12 more weekly sessions seemed like forever. I couldn't wait to be able to ring a bell and be finished.
Then flash forward to today and boom! Those 12 weeks went so much faster than I could have expected. But If Im being honest, I'm not as happy as I thought I would be. Yes I am very excited to be done with this part of the breast cancer journey but I'm also a little sad and scared. This has been my life for 5 months. Each week I come in and the routine is the same. The nurses and staff know me by name. Jen accesses my port, takes blood, and we chat for a minute about her daughter or my kids. Beth and Natasha will take my vitals. I meet with either Dr. Horkheimer or his PA Megan and we go over my blood results and any pain/discomfort I have. Then I head into the treatment room with one of the nurses Kelly, Krystina, Vicky, Cathy, or Peggy- where they give me my infusions and we talk and laugh for a bit. Then I go home. Its been a comfort and like another family. So Im sad to leave it in a weird way.
Im also a little scared. The end of chemo brings out anxiety and the "what if" thoughts. When I'm having chemo I know its killing the cancer cells so there is a flash sense of security in it. Now that its done my brain starting to think "what if it comes back", "what if it missed a cancer cell and its floating around my body". I didn't think I would be comfortable having these chemo chemicals in my body but there is an unusual comfort in knowing they are killing the cancer. Without them, I have a little fear.
Now I am very happy that this part is over because it does mean I'm closer to the end of all this. I'm closer to reconstruction and feeling like myself again. I still have a long road ahead but tomorrow I have finished a huge hurdle! Tomorrow I will ring the bell that shows I made it through! Tomorrow I am closer to being a Cancer Survivor!