I posted this to my main blog (Hope Wears Pink), but wanted to post it here too. I had my last chemo a couple of weeks ago, and decided to take my kids with me. Some people think it is strange that I would take my kids with me to something like that – but I really believe it has helped them to understand and not feel so much fear and uncertainty about everything. Anyway – here is the post:
Morgan taking some pictures of me at my last chemo
So, I haven’t posted for awhile – I had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s with family and friends, had my last chemo, and spent a great holiday with my kids. Everyone has been back to school and it seems as though there has been a million things going on every day!
My last chemo treatment couldn’t have happened at a better time actually. Since the girls were still on Christmas break, they were able to come with me for my last treatment. I know some people might think that isn’t something they would want to take their kids to – but my kids wanted the chance to see what it was all about.
I have tried to keep my kids involved with what is going on since the day I told them I had breast cancer. I admit that I did wait about a month and a half to tell them my diagnosis. I found out just before school let out for summer holidays, and I wanted to let them have at least some time to be kids and have fun over the summer before they were faced with dealing with all the other stuff.
They came to spend time with me right after my mastectomy. I had to stay in a hotel for a week to be close to my doctor’s – and since we live 2 hours away, coming straight home wasn’t an option. They helped me pick out my wig. They helped me cut my hair off before it fell out. I have tried to keep them involved as much as I felt was necessary so that they wouldn’t be worrying that things were even worse.
I know how kids are. They tend to make things up in their heads which are even worse than what is really happening if they feel something is being kept from them. And I know that my kids are worriers – that is just the way they are. So, by keeping them involved, I have been able to monitor how much they know and let them feel that they have some control.
So – when they were going to be home for my last chemo, they wanted to come. And, because I have to continue going to the same place for the next year to receive my Herceptin treatments, I thought it was a good idea to let them see where I will be.
We actually ended up having a great time – as great as you can have when hooked up to an IV pole and stuck sitting around for about 4 hours!
We played some games, they read – then my brother showed up and played some more games with us. I am sure the nurses at the chemo unit must think my family is a little crazy…..turning a chemo treatment into what could only be called a small party!
Then, we all went out for lunch and the girls and I came home, packed our bags, and went out to my mom and dad’s for a sleepover. I knew that the day after my chemo is usually my worst day, when I am feeling pretty rotten and not wanting to do much, so we went out there so that they could play and do whatever they wanted while I just laid around.
It was so nice to be able to just let my parent’s look after the girls. They played and had so much fun – and both my brother’s and sister-in-law’s came to visit – bringing my baby niece and nephew to see me. Having everyone around took so much pressure off me – and in the end helped me to actually not feel that bad the next day.
Now, I am waiting to see my oncologist on the 31st to plan the next stage. I guess we will go over my hormone treatment plan, and hopefully get some kind of a scan to see where I am at. It feels a bit scary to be at this point – but I know I still have a year of treatments with Herceptin, plus some more plastic surgery to go through – so I am not at the finish line yet. (If there ever will be a finish line in this whole mess!!)
But, at least I know that I can start getting some sort of normal back to my life. No waiting for a major surgery to disrupt weeks of my life, no waiting for chemo treatments which I know will affect even more weeks out of my life. The rest of what I will go through is minor compared to what the last few months have been.
So, keeping my fingers crossed that the months ahead will bring me even a little bit closer to some kind of “normal”!