Friday, August 3, 2012

Every Time a Bell Rings... The "c" Word -Day 169...

It's a very emotional day today but I certainly hadn't planned on feeling quite so emotional, emotions just took over!
Yes, today was my last "Induction" treatment for Chemo at Lakeridge Health in Oshawa and a very long morning it was.  For the last four weeks 5 days a week I have been going for treatment for Malignant Melanoma.   In the beginning of course you have no idea what to expect really, regardless of what you may have heard, read or imagined for yourself.   You read plenty in advance, but from only legitimate sources knowing anything less will only completely freak you out!
I've had a number of friends attend the appointments with me as well as my husband and both my Mother and my Mother-in-Law.  It is preferred that you bring company just in case you are not feeling well as you leave.   Most times the "ill feeling" didn't really settle in until at least part way home in the car.   I almost always felt a little "sickly" and very very tired!
From day one of treatment I knew I shouldn't expect to feel very good following treatments and quickly thought of the nurse who on the first day had told me, "You're going to feel really crappy tonight!".   I was disappointed to realize she was so very right!   Feverish, chills, body aches, headaches and some light nausea!   While it sounds terrible and was certainly very unpleasant, I tried to imagine how much worse it could be!!   I have been incredibly thankful NOT to have vomiting included in my side effects!

When I was having blood done in the Chemo Suite this morning and talking with Nurse Lisa, she was excited to realize this was my last day of treatment.   She then pointed out to me to be sure and ring the bell as I was leaving to announce my completion with Chemo!    I said o.k, I would do that.
My Mom attended with me today and Nurse Ida was attending my care this morning.   She's a lovely lady and I shared with my Mom that she reminds me of the character Georgette; Georgia Engel, from the Mary Tyler Moore Show.  Today I also had my Picc line removed, so much to rejoice.
Not long before my treatment and was done this morning, the bell was rung and everyone clapped.    I immediately choked up and the tears flowed.   I surprised myself; or perhaps not really.
It just seemed so  poignant and it took me a few minutes to collect myself.   I couldn't help but notice my Mom tearing up too and I couldn't even speak.
Ida asked if I was o.k and I said yes, the bell ringing just really affected me.   I didn't see who had rang the bell but it only mattered that someone had finished treatment and you could understand what that meant to them,  a very personal achievement, a great hopefulness and carrying on with their lives.

On our way out today I stopped at the desk and left a card that I had made with every one of the nurses names inside and including thanks to the volunteers as well.   I wanted to go round and hug every one of them but of course they are quite busy with the many patients at any one time.   I picked up the bell; like an old school bell, and I rang it!   I choked up as everyone clapped.  Lisa was working near the door and we said goodbye and she asked that I stop in when I come for appointments and I promised I would.   I would like to bring in some flowers, the ones on their desk are near done!

It's been quite a day and I won't forget any of them in the Chemo Suite and while I won't miss the "high dose" treatments, I will miss those ladies and gents who made an awful adventure much more bearable!

Funny too when I rang the bell it reminded me of my work in the OEYC, we ring the bell for Circle Time and sing a song to gather everyone, maybe I should have sang a song!?  LOL!

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