The countdown for the remaining sessions couldn’t come fast enough, until my sister, Susy, said, “one more to go!” It seemed like a good thing to her. Theoretically, it should have been for me as well.
Despite the sufferance during treatments, the end of chemotherapy is filled with internal conflict. You’d think I would be ecstatic about no longer having to go through those dreadful weeks of vomiting continuously, having diarrhea for days, mouth sores that felt more like needles, and extreme weakness – and it all feels worse with each passing treatment.
There was some relief about knowing I didn’t have to endure the long hospital visits, the disgust of receiving such potent medication, and laboring through each day. But ask others, who have also completed cancer treatments, if they fear that there is nothing left to stop the cancer from growing.
“I’m on my own. What do I do now?” I thought.
My last treatment was completed in April, 2005. I should have felt reinvigorated, right? But I didn’t. For months after, I was still experiencing many of the side effects, like the tingling in my feet and lower legs. The awkward sensation prevented me from putting my feet to the pavement, so I didn’t want to walk much, even when I got some strength back.
Then there were the ongoing lessons of how and what to eat. This consumed me daily. I would realize at the end of the long day that all I’ve done was prepare food, eat, and lay down for almost two hours each time to digest. I was tired all of the time, and nausea continued to be a daily phenomenon. Housework was out of the question, so for some time, we hired a cleaning lady.
Even suffering is welcomed when we feel protected. I can imagine many other situations we put ourselves through just to avoid getting hurt, troubling some one else, being alone, fearing an outcome.
Help those around you jump from their box, and see the world in a whole new light – a brighter light.