Monday, 14 August, was more emotional that I had anticipated. I cried happy tears. I am finished with the 18 rounds (one every 21 days beginning 22 August 2016) of chemotherapy drugs and Herceptin infusion.
Once the infusion was completed, many of the Clearview Cancer Center Oncologist Nurses gathered with us and I rang the bell to announce that this was finished.
The plaque next to the bell says to ring the bell three times. I rang one long time as hard as I could. I wanted the world to hear that this was finished. People hugged me and said goodbye.
I saved the last hug and kiss for Richard. As always, Richard was by my side loving and caring for me. Throughout this journey, I never wanted to let him down. He has postponed so many business and life events to complete his mission “to save my life.”
The attached picture is of us kissing after the bell ring.
I understand better as to how my life has unfolded. I know why my parents died in what seemed to early in life because they could have only seen me as a victim, as their injured baby in this journey.
I know that Richard entered my life to be there for me to thrive through this journey.
He is the love of my life. So many medical people have told me that I am fortunate. They share that many men remove themselves not only physically leaving the relationship but also emotionally distancing themselves from their wives / partners.
Here are some of my reflections since diagnosis in June 2016:
Positive relationships are at the core of beating cancer.
Richard and I had a great relationship going into this journey and our relationship is stronger today.
The relationship I have with myself must be positive as well. I had to believe in me that I could beat cancer.
Long after the appointments and treatments end, I am left with my body and what it endured. It is critical to have a holistic team beating cancer. Richard’s approach to confront this cancer treating the mind, body, and spirit allowed all of my resources to grow to defeat cancer.
Relationships with the Care Team must stay positive as well. If a relationship is not working, tell the medical person why and what to change. If that person will not work with you to meet your needs, fire them. There is simply no room for negativity when on a cancer journey. Trust me; there are plenty of treatment centers and doctors to meet a cancer patient’s needs.
Finally, we have learned who our “showed up” family and friends are. The “showed up” are the people that gave love and support continuously. At first, I was surprised when some people said absolutely nothing. I understand that sometimes people may not know what to say but to say nothing is a loud conversation about the relationship.
Are you showing up? Are you present?