As many of you may already be aware, on Tuesday I went to Penn to receive what was my LAST chemo treatment (hopefully) ever! Before I went I was really pumped and totally ready. Traveling an hour and a half each way (or more depending on traffic) every three weeks for the last year and a half was wearing quite thin on me and on those stuck taking me. There are so many things to dislike about the process of receiving treatments that I assumed my whole day on this day of my last treatment would be filled with joy and a feeling of triumph.
Well, let me tell ya, that wore off quickly. After blood work and a relatively short waiting period in the waiting room, I went back to see my oncologist. His assistant usually does most of the appointment so that wasn’t weird, but when he did pop in for a minute, he said that I could go ahead and schedule my next appointment with him while I was there. For September. September?! I immediately felt nauseous and light-headed. I must have gone pale(-er than normal) because he quick patted me on the back and assured me I could call or text any time if I had any questions or problems.
Then began the long wait for infusion. It was then that my doubt kicked into overdrive. Am I really doing the right thing? I knew I had been using the chemo as a safety net, but I wasn’t prepared for what it would feel like to have the net pulled away from under me.
I suddenly felt sad and lonely. My triumphant last chemo was just another infusion in the hustle and bustle of a busy hospital and the closure I was hoping to feel wasn’t so much there. I thought I would be able to slam this chapter shut and walk away all sassy, but that wasn’t really happening. I felt truly timid and, well, just kinda sad.
So, chemo is done. Over. I felt very mixed emotions that whole day and was on the verge of tears for a lot of it. But God reassured me on the ride home. There was a storm coming and I saw a pretty cool cloud so I snapped a pic right as the cloud seemed to be engulfing the sun.
Although I couldn’t see the sun there after the storm rolled in, I still knew it was there. There were clouds blocking the view but the sun was no doubt still there. That’s a fact. And it’s just as much a fact that even though that afternoon I felt pretty lonely, God was there.
He is here. All of my strength comes from Him. Every breath I take is due to His goodness and I want to give each one back to Him as a form of praise. I’ve been listening to this song, Stay and Wait by Hillsong a lot and it seems to fit well here so if you’re feeling a little lost and confused, hopefully this song will help reassure you of God’s presence.
And so, just like that, my treatments are over. I’ve received around 25 infusions, 5 of ipilimumab and around 20 of Keytruda (tested as mk-3475). My symptoms are mild by most chemo standards, but they are still definitely there along with the lingering effects this brain tumor has on me. My next medical step is a lumbar puncture (read: spinal tap) sometime this month to try to figure out why I’m having chronic headaches. Then hopefully nothing until my pet scan in September.
Thanks guys for your endless love, prayers, and support. ❤️