Yesterday was my 33rd and final radiation treatment. I was quite pleased with myself for not having missed a single one, because when I started, it looked like a nearly impossible mountain to climb. I was also completely surprised by how emotional I was. Nearly in tears several times while I was there. Ended up hugging all the techs who’d been administering my treatments. Big, brotherly, bear hugs from the guys, who came to me as much as I went to them. Huge smiles and best wishes from the gals.
(By the way, they have titles far more specific to their highly specialized training than just “techs,” but I’m not sure what they are.)
The wonderful lady at the department’s reception desk, who’d known me by name since about the second day, presented me with a “Certificate of Completion” and a little tinsel pom pom, announcing to everyone in the waiting room that it was my last day. Cheers and applause all around. (And almost more tears from me.)
I guess the emotion was relief, knowing I’m free of the daily grind of having to go down there for treatment. Especially now that winter is nearly upon us and horrendous driving weather could be just around the corner (next Tuesday, for example).
There wasn’t much time to enjoy the afternoon, however. I’d been told to call and schedule a CT scan if radiology hadn’t called me. They did call, and the scan is scheduled for next Thursday. I hope it will be definitive about what is or isn’t causing this awful cough.
I was also told to call and schedule an appointment with a pulmonologist (preferably the one my med onc has been consulting with) if they hadn’t called me. They hadn’t. And it turned out the consulting pulmonologist was booked into February. The earliest anyone could see me was mid-December. And they told me to call Monday and schedule breathing tests before then.
This is on top of seeing my primary care physician on Monday for a routine but long-delayed 6-month check-up, and my ophthalmologist twice before the end of the month (once for testing, once for follow-up).
Monday morning I’m going to call my med onc and see if he still wants to start my Herceptin treatments December 1, given that I won’t have seen the pulmonologist by then. Maybe he’ll want to lean on his consulting pulmonologist a bit and get me in sooner. I’m concerned that delaying the Herceptin treatments much longer might give any remaining cancer cells a head start on recurrence. Or something.
As soon as I got home, I bathed my chest in Aquaphor. I wanted to loosen and remove all the positioning stickers before the skin underneath got any more fragile, as it is certain to do for the next week to 10 days.
Naturally, a few hours later, as I sat there totally unfit to leave the house, my son called and invited me out for a celebratory dinner. They’d asked around and found what was supposedly the best burger place in Denver, the Cherry Cricket, downtown in Cherry Hills. So I had to get cleaned up and ready to go again. Great food and fun evening, except my cough, which had seemed under control most of the day, reappeared with a vengeance. I could scarcely utter a sentence without coughing. So exhausting and frustrating. Think I’ll up the prednisone to 2 tabs (20 mg) today and see if I can get it under control, because I’m still coughing a lot this morning (even after both Advair and albuterol).
Okay, that’s it. I’m done. I’m not going to think about doctors or appointments again until Monday morning. Maybe I’ll spend the weekend playing Fallout 4, although I’m not sure how eager I am right now to enter a postapocalyptic world where radiation poisoning is a constant threat …