Chemo – don’t let the door hit you on the way out

Since I last posted about chemo, I was ugly crying over having to postpone a week. Since then I got ‘er done!

Timor Annex Phase 1
Phase 1 Complete!

My last infusion was on December 19th, and I still get pretty emotional thinking about it. Stating the obvious here, but I hope this is the last chemo post I will ever do!

Anyway, here’s how the last one went:

As I walked in to the Cancer Centre I was asked if I was excited. Having had that one delay I was too afraid to jinx it, so I wasn’t going to let myself get excited until I had that bag of Taxol hooked up.

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Oh yeah, I’m drowsy.

Can’t you see the excitement in my face?

Some family and friends, who were a huge support through all this, ascended on me in Pod 3, and we made a bit of a ruckus (sorry Pod 3’ers!). They came to watch me ring the graduation bell (click to watch)

I am so grateful 💕After 16 rounds of #chemo over 21 weeks I am DONE! It wasn’t always easy, but so worth it in knowing that I put up the best fight against this #cancer. I am so thankful for the incredible support I received – from the amazing staff at the chemo unit who made each week GREAT, to my family and friends who were there for me day-in day-out: checking in, making sure I didn’t get too deep into my head, gifting me activities to pass the time, knitting hats, incredible meals delivered to my house, sending hundreds of cards, gift cards and flowers, but most of all giving me the gift of their time ❤️❤️❤️. Huge hugs to my crew who made it out to watch me ring the bell 🛎 this morning!! Love you all TONS. I REALLY couldn’t have done it without you. ❤️ #theblackboob #tnbc #cancer #triplenegativebreastcancer #ringthebell #roadtorecovery #grateful #gratitude #community

A post shared by Una Beaudry (@unarantoday) on

Ringing the bell left me conflicted. I really wanted to cheer, but in the same moment I was conscious of the others having their treatments who may never get to ring the bell. How I wish they didn’t need to be there. But God love ’em they (and their support people) cheered for me ❤️

And can we talk about how lame that bell is? It needs to be louder. And a bit of training for the user would be helpful, because clearly this girl couldn’t figure it out 😂

We then kicked the gang back to the waiting area so that I could get the PICC line out. Oh yeah baby, time to get that sucker the F out!

To help facilitate the removal (?… extraction? withdrawal? whatever…) they put a folded hot blanket on your arm to warm and relax the vein. Here we go!

Note: Not for the squeamish!

And with a few centimetres to go, my vein spasmed and would not let it go. First off, I had no idea a vein could spasm, and secondly, when it does it hurts! It’s a burning/stinging sensation. At any rate, stubborn vein wasn’t going to give it up, so a new blanket was placed on my arm.  Apparently some people yank PICCs out in their sleep, and yet my body won’t let go of it after being cuddled in a blanky. Actually, every time I had the PICC dressing changed my body would suck it in a cm or two 🤔. Anyway, after 10 minutes of heat the nurse came back and the PICC was out! I couldn’t watch it live because I’m a fainter, but in looking at the video it looks like that trick where the clown pulls 40 silk scarves out of his mouth. Yeah, gross like that.

Now that the PICC is out, know what that means?!? No more showers like this!

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You weirdos, stop looking in my shower.

I had 20 unopened fake tattoo sleeves I didn’t use, and I was happy to leave them in the give and take room. I hope they make someone’s life easier, as they did mine.

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PSA: Free fake tattoo sleeves at the Chemo Unit!

We then thanked the amazing nurses and left. It’s a weird feeling knowing I wouldn’t be back the following Tuesday.

We went for breakfast with our gang, and Brian and The Lovely gave me the gift of cupcakes. I was too drowsy to think to take a photo of the breakfast gang, and the cupcakes were gone before there was a chance to take a pic of them! But they were good. Trust me.

I’m now almost 3 weeks out from my last treatment and to be honest I’m not feeling as great as I expected to be. Instead of feeling more energetic as the days pass, I’m feeling more fatigued, though my insomnia is better. My stomach still hates me and the noon to midnight bloatfest continues, but on the upside my diet has had a drastic shift the past few days as more and more the only foods that appeal to me are the healthy ones! I may barf if I see another potato chip. HUZZAH!  Other good news is the arrhythmia has settled down and my hair continues to fill in, though it looks bananas (and you all know how I feel about bananas).

Did you know it can take up to 6 months for chemo to fully leave your body? I don’t love this idea so I’m going to spin it that there is a little less in my body every day. Ahhhh much better.

Next up, surgery on Wednesday!

I will leave you with a funny: when I was at my surgeon’s office at the Women’s Breast Health Centre, the Nurse Navigator (Checkov, if you recall) asked me why I was wearing a hat.

Yeah, I don’t get it either. I responded with – it’s cold out, and I’m bald. She just stared and smiled and then left the room. Steve and I then laughed out loud. What the what?!?

 

12 thoughts on “Chemo – don’t let the door hit you on the way out”

  1. Sweet relief to see that PIC line go! Who knew you were “veinal retentive”? Will pm you a tip that helped me during the bloatfest.
    xxx, L

  2. All the best with the upcoming surgery…one step at a time, with each step getting you closer to that finish line. Hugs to you and thoughts and prayers. Very weird about the hat comment to!!

  3. Congratulations Una! I am so happy for you. Your body went through alot so it’s normal that you do not feel great after a few weeks.

    Good luck for the surgery on Wednesday! I will be thinking of you more that day.

    Sylvie

  4. All the best with the surgery. The surgical part, for me, was the easiest, the drains not so much. And the gift of a seroma, just added to the fun. Hope you have an easier time. Stay strong.

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