Monday, February 7, 2011

The grand finale

In keeping with our system of giving Ian a break on the weekend before hard chemotherapy, I took the girls to my dad's homestead for the weekend.  It also was a break for me:  dad watched the girls while I went to the Drake v. Northern Iowa basketball game with my fabulous new stepmom.  And what a game it was!  We were cheering for Drake, and they won by only 3 points; I daresay I witnessed a "money shot" with only 3 seconds remaining.  After the win, the team raced over to the students' section to celebrate.  I found this to be rather adorable because it's backwards from how I've seen it occur at big ten universities (don't the fans usually race out on the the court to celebrate with the players?).  I do love a good basketball game.  The fun continued when we got back to the house, for we bundled up the girls and took them outside to play in the snow.  It was a mild February day, and perfect for the girls to explore the three acres of woods, plains, and driveways.  A good time was had by all.

And now I am mentally preparing for the last hard chemo on Wednesday.  We've got this thing down:  groceries, check; vacuuming, check; bills paid, check; laundry, check; and on my personal list, Ian's bday (Feb. 12, the big 3-0) presents, check.  We even planned our meals so that tomorrow's supper is super yummy:  homemade pizza!    

Despite our preparedness, I am not as excited about the last hard chemo as I thought I'd be, or as I ought to be.  I am attributing this lack of relief to a couple of factors, the primary one being uncertainty about the subsequent treatment steps and the secondary one being the hurdle of experiencing the last hard chemo itself.  I am now a professional chemotherapy patient, with excellent support and excellent knowledge of what to expect.  Knowing what to expect is a comfortable feeling, even if what to expect is discomfort.  After this hard one I re-enter the terrifying realm of the unknown, which includes scans of uncertain outcomes, surgery of ill-defined proportions, radiation for who knows how long, and possibly reconstruction but maybe I don't want it.  Such a mountain of crud, with hard decisions on that mountain.  Not to mention the fact that this chemo is going to be a beast.  I cringe just thinking about it.

So let's not think about it!  Let's go to basketball games and play in the snow and make pizza!  Let's go to work and wrap presents and type a blog post!  And if I do think about all of those things mentioned above, redirect myself to the fact that it's the LAST ONE!  And after this one, my hair will start to grow back!!!  Huzzah to me!              


  1. Great weekend. Your unexpected anxiety is understandable and I believe your difficult journey will be will be blessed with Asman luck & Heather optimism - not to mention the great medical care you're getting in Ames. A year from now you'll be shouting Eleanor's new words: "ta-dah!"
    Love you.

  2. Uncertainty is the worst.

    But I have absolute confidence in your ability to weather whatever comes next. For you are Heather.

    "Ta-Dah!" that's freaking adorable, Eleanor!

  3. LAST ONE!!! I can totally understand your lack of excitement for it, but it's still THE LAST ONE!! You're almost done with what all the medical experts are calling the worst of the three cancer treatment whammies. You can do this!

    I've been thinking of you for the past few days knowing you were coming up on your last chemo tomorrow. Good luck and kick that chemo's a** for the LAST TIME! :)


  4. Sending lots of hugs your way. Can't wait for this chemo to be over and for you to feel better. I can understand your anxiety about the road ahead. I'm here for you and sending you lots of good energy for tomorrow and beyond!

  5. Here in the south the first crocuses are starting to peek out of the ground. I can think of no one who needs spring more than you. I am sending warming thoughts your way that your cells (the good ones) will once again renew and you will once again sprout your own "foliage". Good luck today! Much Love.

  6. Good luck today Heather! I am so proud of you! Each day we are closer to the end of cancer and closer to the Caribbean. I hope Ian liked his princess balloons and that your family had a great birthday party last night. Your family is so darn cute and amazing!

  7. Good luck today, I'm so happy this is the last!
    When is the no-mo-chemo party?

  8. I know that you are home now. I know that this is the last of the awful chemo sessions. I know that the unknown can be an even worse (scarier?)thing to have to face. But what I definitely know for sure, after getting to know you and your family/friends support system, is that you can make it through anything - and you will - with optimism, pragmatism, laughter, wit, and some good ole fashioned science thrown in there as well!

    We are all routing for you! We are all glad that you have gotten through this part of the race! And we are all willing to help you get through the next phase as well! Just keeping thinking of that beautiful crystal clear water of the Carribean! Big Hugs coming your way.