The Last Chemo Pill & a Dose of Gratitude

Posted on October 2, 2013. Filed under: Cancer, Family |

Sunday night, for the first time, I gleefully grabbed the five little brown and yellow capsules from my old-lady pill dispenser. It was my last dose! A year and a half of medicinal aggravations lay behind me. Any side effects will be greatly reduced by the knowledge that they are my last.  Yes!After treatment head shot

One of my cancer comrades, Tony in New York, ended his treatment with a blog post tribute to all the family, friends and professionals who helped him through his leukemia ordeal, which was way nastier than mine. I think that’s a good idea. So here’s my thank-you post and I know i will reread this and be horrified that I forgot some wonderful people. Chalk it up to chemo brain.

First, my husband, Scott has been a rock and always looks for ways to make my life easier and more comfortable. We celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary on September 30 and he’s proven that he can handle “for worse.”

My daughters stepped in as advocates when I was in the hospital and showed me the real women they have become. Many times, Christy drove from Elmhurst to simply sit by my side before going to work. Veronica arrived after work and always made sure the Thai food we ordered in was cooked to death so I wouldn’t get any germs in my delicate system. Then, there are their friends and families who spread the word and sent good wishes. And my grandkids who entertained me even though they were bored out of their minds. My in-laws from near and far have also held me close.

I am also blessed (in the Buddhist sense of the word) with an army of friends who each in their own way kept giving me something to look forward to with their visits, calls, emails, cards and amusements. I keep the three-inch stack of get well cards on my office shelf as a reminder. Laura, I loved the car deodorizer shaped like the Alamo and your insistence that it better smell like it. Ally, you kept me painting and inspired. Amy, thanks for showing you care even if it was convenient. Maria and Henry, you’re always there for me. Pam, Isabel, Kathy, Karen  and Colleen, you were far away, but it didn’t feel like it. Kathy, you and your team put together the biggest batch of hospital survival items EVER! Dick and Connie, thanks for letting us hibernate with you.  Jane, your wit should be researched for its cancer-killing properties. Laughter IS the best medicine. Mary, thanks for being so open about her own cancer drama and patient about getting assignments completed. Mark, thanks for waiting for me to get out of the hospital so I could be your website writer with attitude. Thanks for wanting the attitude. Marc, thanks for bringing your 1234518_10153261708380472_1385104933_ncalm, care and simpatico being to my life. Yes, you bring calm. Go figure, And what would recovery be like without the slam? My group of breast cancer sisters kept me in the fold even though they were probably creeped out by my turn of events. And there were so many more friends, Facebook and otherwise, and blog followers who strengthened me with their good wishes.

I can’t forget the attention from Dr. G, Kara and the nursing staff who still greet me by name if they see me pick up meds. I’m done with treatment, but with monthly blood checks, I haven’t seen the last of them.

I am grateful to all of you. I am leaving this episode with all that kindness, a new path for the future and a kickass collection of scarves. I will keep up the blog, but there will be fewer leukemia and cancer tags and more art and poetry tags. Journey on, friends. Journey on, friends. Peace.

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6 Responses to “The Last Chemo Pill & a Dose of Gratitude”

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Hi Emily: I’m Tony’s Mom. Congratulations! I wish you all the best. I have followed your blog and so happy you have reached this wonderful day. Enjoy! Kathleen

Tony’s Mom in New York? Holy cow..wonderful to hear from you! I loved Tony’s openness and attitude so much during my treatment. As a mom, I can imagine how freaked you must have been and how devoted your care. It’s amazing how we get through stuff. It’s also weird how wonderfully close I feel to people I’ve never met thanks to the internet. If you or Tony ever get within 100 miles of Chicago. Please let me know! I would love to have an in-person chat.

This is great news, Emily! I am so happy to read it and it made my day! You have fought the good fight and came through it. May you be cancer free forever! Big hug to you and Scott!

EMILY — THAT IS THE BEST NEWS.  WHAT A LONG HAUL THAT WAS FOR YOU, A YEAR AND A HALF…..BUT WHO’S COUNTING?  DID YOU MAKE A CEREMONY OF SWALLOWING THOSE LAST PILLS?   MAYBE DOWN THEM WITH CHAMPAGNE? I’M GOING TO CALL YOU TOMORROW TO ARRANGE AN EVENING TO TAKE YOU AND SCOTT OUT FOR DINNER. P

________________________________

Hi there Emily! I was just checking a few of your posts and had a quick question about your blog. I was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance -emilywalsh688 (at) gmail.com- Thanks : )

Emmy

Dear e. I am so thrilled that this learning experience is behind us, and now you and Scott will have more time to do the things you enjoy. Your girls are wonderful jewels that only reflect who you really are, something very especial. I’m so glad that after all of these years we reconnected and best of all, keep growing up (not old) together ❤


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    A writer and cancer survivor chronicles her renewed dedication to art and words..

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