With eyes watering and skin burning, I hopped off the radiation table for the last time. My shoulders ached as I put my arm back in my Johnny shirt sleeve and put my hospital robe back on. I hugged my radiation technicians and thanked them for making me feel like an overdone french fry. After all, this incredible bunch of young men and women were the ones who helped put the last nail in the cancer coffin. They are stars, all of them, but especially Shaun Naugle. He made me look forward to my zapping with his easy banter, smile and goodness of spirit.
I’m done. I’m really done. Maybe it will seem real in a week or two lol.
The journey to make cancer my bitch is over. What commenced on January 16, 2013 with surgery to remove a large tumour and several metastatic lymph nodes has finally come to an end. Six rounds of chemotherapy, 30 radiation treatments, several hundred hugs, buckets of tears, reams of prayers and a few dozen bottles of wine have carried me to the summit, to the shore, across the bridge, to the finish line and to every other metaphor of which you can imagine that symbolizes completion.
This is the message my beautiful daughter, Kennedy, sent me two nights ago:
I’m so incredibly proud of you. You are truly the greatest role model there is. You stayed positive, you comforted us, and you kicked that bitch’s ass. I love you more than life itself. You’re truly the most amazing woman I’ve ever met and ever will meet 🙂
Talk about cry! She came with me this morning and then treated me to lunch. She has the very best part of my X chromosome and has blessed me with her beauty of spirit and countenance. Her compassion astounds me in someone so young. She was my fellow soldier in this battle and I can only hope both of my children take away no scars from our journey that will haunt them in any way, shape or form.
Now begins the process of healing from the pain and fear that have been my constant companions for ten months. The hardest part lies ahead; living without fear. Pain is relative and anyone can get used to anything if they must. Healing happens in our miraculous bodies without our help. Fear is optional. It’s insidious, but there are ways to combat it. Meditation, exercise, music, conversation, reading and prayer are the most effective ways to ease your mind. I’ll try those and maybe a nice glass of Shiraz when I feel the blackness threatening to settle over me again. It’s been hard work to stay optimistic but it has paid off. I’m here and stronger than I was. I believe that we’ve killed that fucking bitch right some hard!!!!
When I look back at all the things that have prepared me for this journey, at this particular time, I’m so thankful. My job afforded me long-term disability. I had private critical illness insurance that enabled me to keep my house. Last year I remortgaged my home to pay off debt which means I had credit available until my insurance kicked in. I was healthy (except for the cancer). I had great and supportive friends and family to help me through the assistance-laden early stages of my treatments. I found WordPress so I could use this tool to help me keep my sanity and share my progress. I found my inner ninja. I found you.
My gratitude cannot ever be adequately expressed. To each and every one of you, I dedicate my living. May I have as many months left to live as I’ve had friends reach out to me. That should take me well into my 90’s.
My fervent wish is that this will be me one day 🙂
My dear lovelies…thank you so much. You’ve made this journey lighter and easier. I hope to see many of you in the coming weeks and you all have giant hugs coming your way. To those who’ve supported me over the ethernet, I send out celestial hugs and the hope that you feel them alighting on you in a quiet moment. I will miss talking with you, here in the dark, in my kitchen. I miss you already but it’s time for us to disembark our midnight train.
Tonight I will celebrate with a bottle of sparkling wine from my offshore family on the Thebaud Production Platform. I’ve saved it for this moment. I will toast to you all and bid farewell to my cancer. I will say hello to my future. I’m sure I will cry good tears into the bubbles.
Because as of 12:10 this afternoon, thanks to your strength and support and our free and often fabulous medical system…..CANCER IS MY BITCH!!!!!!
Thank you SO much for reading.
With much love, abounding hope and EVER believing,
Although I hadn’t planned on writing any further, I am! Never say never 🙂 Below is the link to another blog I’ll be adding to as inspiration hits. Cheers!