HOORAY! HOORAY! HOORAY!

Thursday was my last chemo!

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My sister, in her usual stylish, creative and crafty ways, made me an awesome sign, balloons and “corsage” to wear. It was a great feeling to know I was there for the last time!

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We wanted to show the nurses and staff our appreciation, so my mom delivered 3 chick-fil-a breakfast trays, fruit, juice and tea; plus a huge bagel & cream cheese tray from panera from my sister-in-law and mother-in-law. And two giant “Launching Arrows” cookie cakes. Everyone was so grateful and appreciative (and sufficiently full)!

This sweet man was sitting next to me today and, coincidentally, it was also his last chemo day. We couldn’t have all the pomp and circumstance without including him, so he had his picture made with my sign too! He was so sweet and his wife too. We got some of just him as well and texted them to his wife.

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After the pre-party, it was chemo as usual which means I slept hard for a good hour in my benedryl coma. I woke up to the bells of the IV pump and this empty bag of Taxol.

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I’m so glad to have this part of my journey behind me, but I will say it’s going to be strange not being there every week, seeing my fellow survivors, all the nurses who’ve taken such great care of me and the staff who know me by name. I’m going to miss that part of it.

I’m NOT going to miss the chemical feeling in my stomach, the aches from my shots, the fatigue, the port flushes, finger/toe nail issues, neuropathy, and many other unmentionable side effects. Although I’m learning that not all of them disappear right away, so I’m going to have to find some patience on some of these.

Now it’s on to the next phase. Surgery. My date is set. On May 14, which happens to be my dad’s 70th birthday, I will have a double mastectomy. I’m nervous about it, but I love my surgeon and have 150% trust in him and his team. And I know so many others have gone before me in this phase with success and tell me it’s no problem. So I’m ready.

Following about 4-6 weeks after my surgery, I will begin 6 weeks of radiation. Three-ish months after that, I will begin the reconstruction process. I met with the plastic surgeon who will do that phase this week as well. Most likely that will be multiple surgeries. I’ll be having what’s called a latissimus dorsi flap surgery, where an oval flap of skin, fat, muscle, and blood vessels from my upper back will be used to reconstruct the breasts. It’s a little more involved than I was planning, but it’s what all three of my doctors recommend, and I trust them.

The good news is, barring any unforeseen issues, I should be able to fit all this in during this calendar year, which is my hope because I’m close to my annual out of pocket maximum and I don’t want to start over!

But regardless! I’m DONE with chemo
and I have no intentions of having to endure it again. Thank you to everyone who has been by my side on this phase of my journey. I couldn’t have done it without so much support. I love you all! So goodbye forever, chemo! And HOORAY!

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7 responses

  1. WOW! What a way to end this terrible phase in your journey! We are still praying for you…and pray that the next steps will pass without any problems. We pray for you and your family during this difficult time.

  2. Shelley, I love you. I love how you are so selfless and caring and giving and sharing with others. You are a blessing and inspiration to us all. Prayers and love for the rest of this journey. Diana

  3. Shelley, that is awesome! I’m so glad that you onto the next phase! You are a true inspiration to those you come in contact with…you always have been to me! GOD Bless you! Salina

  4. Dear Shelley!
    We are so thankful that this phase if behind you and are so proud of the way you have handled all of this. We know that your spunk and determination will get you through the rest that is ahead of you. We pray for you everyday.
    Love Ya! Gayle & Bobby

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