Thursday, February 26, 2015

Last Day of Chemo Notes

Forgive my frequency in posting, I just have to tell you about my day on Wednesday. I hope the executives at the hospital understand how important their "lower level" employees are to quality of care. I registered for my Echo test and the registrar was so kind, compassionate, and, well, fun. She encouraged me to try Candy Crunch on my iPhone. I told her I did not do any games on the iPhone. She said, "Oh, you don't have to worry about addiction. They shut you off after 5 minutes and won't let you on for another hour". I'm still not going to spend my time gaming, but her smile, enthusiasm, and joy made my day and I did not let her know that she hadn't sold me on the idea! Then, I went down to lab and my Echo technician was above and beyond. She couldn't seem to talk without smiling at the same time. Do you know people like this? Don't you want to be with them? I tell you her humble life builds me up. She has been a medical assistant (a 7 week course) for 22 years. She got certified as a cardiovascular technician giving her the ability to do Echos all day long. She taught me what she was going to do and what it would tell the doctor and it was better than most instructions I've gotten from the professionals. She was just in love with her job, and obviously put her whole self into it assuring my comfort by asking about the room temperature and other simple but patient focused questions all the way through.  No matter what the results of this test, they will be easier for the cardiologist to relay them because my experience was one good memory. It was the face of Christ meeting me along the journey. Both of these ladies. My blessings.

Then I went to my infusion. They have created such an environment of caring. Kindness and gentleness exudes. I decided that even though I'm coming in and getting care from these nice nurses through December, I would "ring the bell" since this was the last day of that nasty chemo. It is a tradition for the bell to be rung when you are finished with your chemo. Everyone in earshot gives their congratulations. I admit I worked too hard at shutting my floodgates. I could have made quite a scene with tears. I didn't fight my nature, though, I fought the tears, faced the wall, and put my coat on, having regained my composure enough to say goodbye and thank you to the nurse. I wish I'd let them out. I was full of joy to my inner core. It is done and I'll bet at least one of the patients would have identified with my release. Still working on losing the control.

Here's me a moment before ringing the bell. I'd noticed the heaviness of the metal and was a bit afraid of disturbing the quiet.

And me a moment later when it really did shake the infusion department!

Later that evening I checked my inbox and thanks to Susan Wilbacher, a sister in the People of Praise in Tampa, Florida, we have a link to the movie. Here's the secret I have to share: my memory stinks. It's been bad, but chemo made it worse...temporarily let's hope. So, Dom Deluise is in the movie, but it is Burt Reynolds who was saved after a threat of suicide. The movies name is "The End". Take a peak.

I also wanted to tell everyone that I have a new appreciation for the corporal work of mercy called "visiting the sick" since having a chance to see it from the other side. Last Friday Anne Brewer came over. We had such a nice time talking. It was so invigorating and we didn't talk much about cancer - well, not from my point of view anyway. I was so renewed that I was exhausted and slept for 2.5 hours when she left. It was well worth it! Thanks to all who have stopped by. I hope I take that lesson with me into the future.

For all those who fasted for me, I'm done with chemo so take a break! Everyone...take a break with me! I have this weekend to deal with but I am in the mood to celebrate! How you match this up to Lenten sacrifices, I'll have to announce in my next post. I just don't know quite yet. But I'm one celebratory girl right now.


  1. What a lovely story Pam! You have one great testimony going here girl! Congratulations on finishing this part of your journey. It is changing you more & more into Christ. And I'm sure you can count your chemo as part of your lenten fast, taking a break now to celebrate its completion. I have heard other chemo patients talk about "chemo brain" as I'm sure you have. I also experienced what I started calling "radiation brain" somewhere about half-way through my radiation (or at least I put the blame on radiation!). I do believe it's temporary. I love you & have an email formulating in my head that I will try to get off this weekend. XXXOOO Eileen

  2. Don't apologize for frequency! It's great to hear all your details about the medical women and your thoughts as you continue your journey! Smiles and kindnesses mean so much in times of difficulty. It was such a joy to visit with you. I was encouraged by sharing our lives!

  3. So happy for you, Pam. Let the tears of happiness flow & flow. I couldn't help but smile reading this post. Hugs across the miles------

  4. Praising God wth you and for you. Thanking him for the saints we meet along the way.

  5. So great to hear that you have finished this first step on your journey!! That God is with you all the way and you know His presence is upbuilding to all of us who lose sight of His presence at times. As Norma says let the tears flow and CELEBRATE too!! We will continue to pray for healing but also that you continue to grow in all the ways you mentioned in your earlier post.

  6. Beautiful Sharing Pam!
    Ps 18:29-30 With thee I can crush a troop, and by thee I can leap a wall. This God, his way is perfect...


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