Thursday, November 21, 2013

30 Days of Gratitude - Day Twenty-One

The plan was this. My last day of radiation was yesterday and today I would start back on my chemo regime. It also meant that I would have chemo the day before Thanksgiving. I was trying hard not to think about it because I wasn't looking forward to it all.

Resigned, I arrived a bit early to my last radiation appointment yesterday so I could take care of the obligatory blood test that ideally I have to have the day before chemo. Sometimes, I get lazy and just arrive an extra hour before chemo, but since I was going to be at the medical center anyway, getting it done the day before was no biggie.

My lab work is always marked as STAT which means, I'm told to jump to the front of the line and walk straight into the lab. Last time I did this, it took less than two minutes before the technician was tying the tourniquet around my arm. This time, she was putting vials of blood into a container and another technician was assisting another patient. I was asked to sit in a lab chair and they would get right to me.

As I sat there, my phone rang. I debated with myself as to whether to answer the phone. After all, at any moment, the technician would likely come and start the process. I decided to answer. It was the oncology department telling me that due to my radiation schedule, they were canceling chemo for the next two weeks and I would begin again, in December. What?? What?? What??

I was so happy, it was a dream come true. I quickly explained to the caller that I was just about to get a blood test so did this mean I didn't need to get one after all. I hated to even ask because what if the answer was "yes". The answer was "no". Saved in the nick of time! I almost did a happy dance out of there.

After a month in which every weekday has been a visit of some sort for treatment or follow up, I am given a three week reprieve. No chemo the day before Thanksgiving. No chemo today. No medical center visit today. Tomorrow, I have to go get my port cleaned out, but that's a walk in the park compared to a full on infusion.

I am filled with gratitude for the break in the routine.

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