wide-eyed at 4am

15 Down – Just 1 to Go

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In three days at this time I will have completed all of my ordered chemotherapy. Wow! It’s actually time to say that.

It’s a little bittersweeet. I know that’s hard for some of you to believe. But if you’ve been through this, you know how special infusion nurses can be and how this routine (that has been happening now for more than 4 months) is somewhat comforting. I’ve heard it can surprise people  with how emotional their last treatment is for them.

The ladies in infusion at LCI Pineville are quite the bunch. They are specialists at what they do. Not just any nurse can work in infusion. These ladies have undergone very specific training to be there. And they are good at it – really good at it.

They not only know about the infusion, they know about the process you’re going through too. They’ve seen so much that they can share volumes with you on the “real” way it happens – not just text book suppositions.

But they are just all clinical knowledge. They are incredible at lifting your spirits when you’re a little low or letting you be when that is best. I guess you could say that they’ve become experts at reading their patients and using their intuition to do and say the right things.

I couldn’t have made it through without them. It would have been miserable to undergo 16 infusions with nurses who were just going through the motions. They make a potentially intolerable experience as pleasant as it can possibly be.

So of course I won’t be missing chemo (Ack!) but I will be missing the amazing people that I’ve met over the past few months in the infusion suite.

So what about the comfort of the routine? While it’s not something you’d chose for yourself, the consistency of chemo and the fact that I know what to expect – is comforting.

I met with my plastic surgeon again…the surgery planning appointment…and I’m excited to say that my reconstruction will be completed in mid-February (date coming next week). And – while I’m thrilled that I’ll soon be rid of my “expander” and lop-sided appearance – I just don’t know what to expect from the surgery. This one will be no fun. The replacement of the expander with the permanent implant will be pretty simple but the lift and reduction will not. I’m hearing that it’s pretty painful during recovery and my plastic surgeon didn’t dispute this statement when I made it. But he is going to try to go without drains (which would be awesome!) so maybe that irritating element will be eliminated.

I feel sure everything will be fine and recovery will just take time. I suppose the results are the unknown I’m anxious about. What will I look like? What clothes will fit? How will the implant feel? (surely it will feel better than this expander!)

That’s the unknown.

Also upcoming is radiation. Who knows how my skin will respond to daily “sunburn” as I’ve heard it described. The responses are as unique as those to chemo.

I only hope my good luck continues in how I respond and deal with this.

By the end of April, I’m hoping that I’ll be through it all and only have my multiple years of taking oral hormone inhibitors ahead.

That seems so far off. But then again January 13 seemed a lifetime away at the end of August too!


Author: jillpurdy

A few months ago I wasn't but now I'm a statistic. That doesn't define me. I'm a daughter, a sister, a wife, a step mom, a grandmother, a friend and a Christian. I will continue to love exercise, music, cooking and food, and my family and friends. I'm stubborn, energetic, giving and too OCD for my own good sometimes. And I'm going to stay this way - despite cancer and the treatments that it takes to give it the royal beatdown.

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