Woo hoo is all I can say! I am an official “rad grad” having completed my last radiation treatment. It was a bittersweet day as I was certainly glad to be done with radiation but sad to be saying good-bye to another part of what had become my new “normal” for seven weeks and seeing the same faces daily. My radiation therapists could not have made the whole experience any more pleasant. It had become something to look forward to instead of dreading on a daily basis. I spiced up the last week bringing them little presents and surprises and on my final day they “sang” Pomp and Circumstance as I walked down the hallway one last time. One of my fun surprises was putting little post-its on me with arrows telling them where to zap me.
I am fatigued from the cumulative radiation but my strength will gradually come back. I need to continue to moisturize my breast for another month and the skin should return to normal from the dryness and burning. I guess I will not have enough of that Crisco type lotion left after all for frying any chicken!
I will still continue with my once every three weeks infusion of herceptin until May 2013. My nails did not end up lifting up completely or falling off but they are very fragile and brittle and break easy. They are half dead and bumpy but will gradually grow out. My eyebrows are growing back and I actually have to tweeze them as they consistently grow in places I don’t want them to. My hair is growing back as well but it will be a long time before it is long enough and full enough for me to be comfortable to go without a wig or a scarf.
Upon “graduation” the radiation department gave me a gift from a group of children that paint plaster hearts for the rad grads with a card from the child. I thought it was very appropriate that on the heart that was given to me the child had painted the word “Faith” along with some flowers. There is no way that I would have gotten through any of this cancer ordeal without my faith. Without faith there is no hope and if you are hopeless you have nothing to live for. Hebrew 11:1 says, “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see.” (The Message) I believe it’s only with faith that you can have the fight to be a survivor with a cancer diagnosis or any other trial you may be going through. Life has to be worth living in order to want to fight to live it. My prayer for you is in Romans 15:13, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NLT)