Gotta keep on keepin' on.......

Cancer again...that's 3 times in 2 years. This time it’s not breast cancer, but a new one called squamous cell carcinoma. New cancer, same old fighting spirit! My blog is still named for one of many songs that kept me going the first time around. Driving home from an upsetting appointment, I turned on the radio just as this line from Steve Miller Band's Jet Airliner was playing: "I've got to keep on keepin' on" I did just that. And I'll do it again.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

and now I heal

Well, I'm done. No, I guess I mean my sister says, "A lady is never done, she is either finished or through." So yes, I am finished with my treatment. YAY! That's it!

On Friday, in celebration of my last day, I received a "TREATMENT COMPLETE" certificate from my radiation oncologist and his nurse Melinda, and on the drive home I stopped at my favorite cafe for some breakfast. The owner knew it was my last day and he greeted me at the door, all smiles and congratulations. He and his wife made a big fuss. I enjoyed that, and my breakfast too.

I drove home and as I neared the house, I saw bunches of balloons decorating the front yard....on the mailbox, the lamppost, and the porch. Across the stairs was a big "Congratulations" banner. It was very festive!

The girls ran to the door as I walked in, screaming "Mommy's home, Mommy's home!" Frances just about knocked me over. It was great. I love attention! There were more balloons on the staircase and in the kitchen. So that explained John's mysterious "I have to make a couple stops" the day before on the way home from the office. He had purchased a helium tank good for 50 balloons. (They saved some helium for my birthday balloons, though.)

On the kitchen table were several beautiful pictures drawn by the girls. Leah's picture was of 2 Mommies: me with my new short hair and me with long hair. Leah is maybe even more excited than me about my hair growing back. She had such a hard time when I lost my hair, I can't bear to tell her that it will be a while until it is long again! She keeps thinking I'll wake up one morning with long hair.....if only it were that simple!

Friday night, John and I went to a movie and then had a late dinner at an old favorite restaurant we hadn't been to in years. Saturday afternoon, we took the girls and Jesse out for ice cream, and met our friends Susanne and Wesley at the ice cream parlor.

It turned out to be a nice long weekend of celebrating the end of my treatment. Now all I have to do is heal. Physically, I think it will be fast: The skin on my chest and armpit is pretty sunburned, but I have lots of aloe and soft cotton shirts for that. My arm is still pretty stiff, but my physical therapist has helped me tremendously and I have plenty of exercises to help regain range of motion. And my scars look pretty good, for scars. The surgeon did a nice job with the stitches on my armpit and breast. You can tell I had surgery but it's not grotesque. (Not that I plan to flash anyone, but I do like to go sleeveless in the summer and so my pits will be exposed.)

So, let the healing begin!


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