#MyLeftBoob Chronicles: #Chemo Day 105: Counting My Blessings

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Sunset Over Long Pond, Cape Cod, by Ruby Mitchell

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. ” ~Rabindranath Tagore

Today is the one week mark since my last chemo on July 16, 2015. I’m writing this blog post with slightly numb fingers and toes from one of the most beautiful places on earth, Cape Cod. Due to the kindness and generosity of family, we were able to get away for a week for a family vacation to celebrate the end of chemo. We hadn’t been on vacation since 2013 so this was a nice treat.

Breathing in the salty sea air, tasting and smelling the fresh-caught Cape Cod seafood and gazing at the breathtaking sunsets painted in the sky, all do wonders for the soul after feeling like I was at death’s door more times than I care to recall over the past 7 months.

The week has had its fair share of mishaps; from car troubles to a cut/skin infection on our puppy, from a slip and fall with a hurt back for me and a yellow jacket bee sting on my finger (almost on my eye) to the “usual” side effects of chemo, we’re taking it all in stride and focusing on the good times and the beauty that surrounds us.

My husband came with me for the last chemo and I slept through about 2 of the 7 hours we were there. One milestone marked and on to many more.  I’m so glad I chose to be treated where I felt comfortable and well taken care of. Every single one of the nurses, receptionists, assistants, doctors, volunteers and staff at Danbury Hospital were all so kind and caring and made me feel so welcome.

At the end of the last Taxol the nurses came in and clapped and cheered to celebrate. Nurse Nancy retired a few weeks ago but it was nice to have the others there to share in the occasion. They presented me with a beautiful silver breast cancer bracelet and a signed certificate of completion.

While that was the last chemo it was not my last treatment. I still have another radioactive seed implant on July 30, surgery to remove another lump (the 4th) on Aug. 4 and another surgery a couple of months after that to remove the port. Then there’s radiation, 5 days a week for 6 weeks.

After 16 weeks of chemo, 3 surgeries and all that radiation, I can’t imagine ANY last trace cancer cell could linger anywhere in my body and that is the hope I am holding on to.

Follow-up care is so important with Metaplastic Carcinoma due to its high rate of recurrence so it’s crucial I continue to get excellent care and be seen every 3-6 months to make sure it doesn’t come back.
My doctor told me that he will be retiring after 30+ years as an oncologist so I will need to decide whether to go back to the big cancer center for follow-up or stay put. I’m glad my doctor was with me until the end but it’s a little scary moving on to someone new, especially being diagnosed with a rare type like I had.

The last 7 months has been a crazy, whirlwind roller coaster of a ride and it’s not over yet. There are still more surgeries, more treatments and unfortunately a lot more bills. Thank you everyone who has donated to my medical fund. Thank you to the scholarships and grants we’ve been blessed with. Thank you for the dinners, donations, gifts, cards and love. You have all made my burden so much lighter and have taken away so much of the stress of this already stressful journey.

We will enjoy 2 more days of vacation before worrying about the next steps of this battle (surgery, radiation and that dreaded 5-letter word: BILLS). For now we will choose to live in the moment and enjoy the time we have together in this beautiful place, counting our blessings for being part of such an amazing family.

To support my breast cancer battle on Go Fund Me, please click here.

“Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… to feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.”  ~Kevyn Aucoin

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