Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Goodbye Oncology!


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Yesterday I had my very last ever, ending, final, concluding, um last (did I mention that?)
 oncology appointment.

MY LAST ONCOLOGY APPOINTMENT!

That is 5 years and 4 months since diagnosis.

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This concludes 16 months of treatment and 4 years of follow-ups including:

one biopsy

one lumpectomy and sentinel lymph node removal

some very painful pre-surgery shots that still make me squirm when I think about them

6 rounds of 3 different types of chemo

6 painful post chemo shots

one bald and very round head

1 year of Herceptin IV treatment every 3 weeks

a scare that required tests to rule out metastasis 

16 total months of sitting for an IV drip every 3 weeks

tattooed dots for radiation

35 rounds of radiation (thats 5 days a week for 7 weeks people!)

one boob that looked like mahogany colored leather for months

a scare that involved the wrongful canceling of my insurance and a bill for $100,000, 
a small heart attack, a battle with insurance and the eventual reinstatement

medicine that made me feel crazy

follow-up appointments with 4 different doctors that started out every month, 
then every 3 and this past year closer to every 6 months

endless amounts of bloodwork

the aging of my friends and family

and a partridge in a pear tree!

I can hardly believe it's over.

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I'll have some yearly follow up but none that requires walking into the oncology unit.

I hadn't really thought about this as being a big event until I was sitting in the office and she told me I was "discharged from oncology and graduated from oncology follow ups".

Somehow though, there was just a tiny bit of anxiety along with the whole process.
I mean, now it's up to me to catch it early should it pop back up, there aren't eyes on me all the time.

I mentioned that it would be weird not checking in and she said that if I wanted to I was free to come in once a year for a follow up.
Not likely!  I appreciate the option though.

I switched insurance a while back so I'm not familiar with this staff but it was nice to see the look on the nurses face when she read my papers and realized I wasn't coming back.

I walked down the hall and opened the door to the waiting room. 
I saw anxiety, exhaustion, resignation, patience and sickness in the eyes looking back at me.

I exhaled when I got in the elevator.

By the time the doors opened 3 floors later I was crying.
I cried on the phone to my mom.
I cried when I was greeted at home by B and Peanut.

I cried sporadically through the day.
I didn't expect to be so emotional about it, I hadn't thought about it at all before the actual appointment.

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Very attractive.

AND THEN the day got even better.

After B went to work and Peanut went down for a nap I realized that I could not possibly be celebrating without chocolate.
I couldn't find any at all.

In a desperate attempt to curb my chocolate fix I started searching unopened Home Depot boxes.
I saw the box marked pantry in the corner of the garage and guess what I found?

Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix!
Could the day get any better?!

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Yes it could!

Whilst searching through Goodreads I spied a book review that made me laugh, followed it to the reviewers page, saw another book she was currently reading, read the commentary, laughed at the authors witty responses and made the comment that I would read the book just because the author was so funny.


AND THEN guess what?!
He sent me a message to tell me that he would send me a copy of his book!
A free book from a witty author that I already love!

AND THEN Peanut went to bed and slept 9 hours straight in his own bed!

I'm almost panting now in the re-telling of this story.
There were just too many good things happening!

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Whoa there!  

AND THEN you know what else?
I love being able to share my excitement.
I posted on facebook and ended up with 167 likes (and counting) and over 50 messages of love, excitement and support.

It makes me cry just thinking about it.

I'm only sorry I didn't buy a lottery ticket yesterday as my friend Darryl suggested.

If your new 'round here and you want to get caught up on some of my favorite cancer stories 
(is that weird to say?)
You can read about my diagnosis HERE, HERE and HERE.

You can read about how I lost my hair and B used it as a mustache HEREhttp://spontaneousclapping.blogspot.com/2011/03/mustache.html

You can read about a man I still think about HERE.

Or you could read about it all under the tag The Big C.

~sigh~
Thank you all for going through this all with me.

I'm going to go finish that pan of brownies now.

15 comments:

  1. That is amazing Dawn!!! Congratulations!!!

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  2. Just totally awesome! Congratulations. Yep..have to say it again, just totally awesome!!

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  3. It lets me know all you went through and how blessed you are now!!! We love you.

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  4. I don't remember how or when I started following your blog, but I am so glad I did. I followed you on this journey and other ones too.

    You are one inspiring lady to us all.

    God's blessing to you and yours!
    Patti

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  5. Seriously, Dawn- I'm balling...not just crying but the ugly cry. You are such an inspiration. I'm so proud of you...so so so proud of you. Congratulations again and again!

    Ausra

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  6. take THAT cancer!!! bizzzaaatttchhhh~ xoxo

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  7. girl now you got me crying and cheering and high fiving while i sit here all alone. SO happy for you! God is good...good...good.good!!!!!

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  8. This post is AMAZING and had me in a fit of happy tears by the end! I'm so so happy for you! Congrats!!

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  9. Tears in my eyes...love this post! And it takes a special and talented person to be able to write about something like this the way you do. I really hope that came across as the compliment that I meant for it to be!

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  10. Well this made my less than stellar day a whole lot better!! Congrats.

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  11. I wish I was near and I would holler to the skies . . . YEA, YIPPEE, HURRAY . . . and share some of my chocolate covered peanuts with you too!

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  12. Congratulations sweetie pie!! (Is "congrats" the appropriate celebratory greeting for something like kicking cancer's hiney?) I'm so happy for you. Go forth and celebrate LIFE!
    Mwah!
    SAsh

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  13. AMAZING STORY DAWN. You are so special! I'm so glad you have posted about this journey in your life. I'm so happy to hear that your doing well, and moving forward with all the good that is intended for you and your family! I love you!

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  14. I am smiling and crying a little right now. I read your blog all through this and I feel like it's my own daughter who is coming out into a new place!

    YEAH!!!!

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