It was always a big day in the chemo ward when someone was in for their last treatment. I watched as groups of friends or family sat with the patient on the last day in celebration. One group of women wore party hats as they rallied around their loved one. It was so cute. I couldn’t help but smile at them. Others brought in a cake, or balloons or flowers to share in the jubilation of their loved one finishing their treatment. It was exciting!
My last day of treatment, however, was quiet. No big fanfare for me. On January 2, 2013, a nurse removed my pump for the last time. I was free! I walked out of there alone and actually felt sad. I was going to miss the nursing staff. They were all so caring and went out of their way to make sure I was as comfortable as I could be throughout the entire ordeal. I ordered a gift basket of Mrs. Fields Cookies. Not for myself though. I had them delivered to the oncology staff. I included a big Thank You card to all of them. It was the least I could do.
I told my mom, who was living with us, that I would begin to feel better now that my treatment was over. She was in poor health and needed me to help her with everything. My husband and kids helped her as well but they weren’t always home. She didn’t need to worry about me not having the strength to take care of her. I would have my energy back in no time, I thought. However, at the end of January she passed away. I had no choice but to attend her funeral with no hair. I constantly tugged at the tiny bit of hair I did have, trying to make it grow faster. Actually, it was more like fuzz. Of course, my tugging on it did absolutely nothing.