Chemo Finished – are we there yet? are we there yet?

Well 8th and Final round of chemo now complete another check box (a big one) off my Kicking Cancer list.   Still plenty to go so wont be hanging up my blog for a hell of a long time yet (don’t know if that’s good or bad news for you!) ;-)

Heading over to my last chemo was the weirdest drive on the M50 of all of my chemos.  From when I left Clane til I got to Dundrum turn off there were tears literally rolling down my cheeks.  Now these were’nt moist eyes these were seriously falling and if I had eyelashes my face would have been black from mascara.  I am still looking back on it and wondering how amazing our bodies are – I wasnt driving feeling sorry for myself, or scared of cancer or chemo of anything.   I think it was my body storing up loads of emotions over the last six months and they decided to let loose to the sound of Rod on Thursday morning.  I also got very emotional thinking about people who have died from cancer who I didn’t know but were friends of friends and recently I have heard their stories.  Maybe those emotions were relief, sorrow and gratitude all mixed into one.    Face clear by Rathmore Avenue.

Bounced into Vincents and I felt great I confidently checked in at the Cancer Reception and the receptionist asked me when was my next visit so she could schedule me in – I said this is my last and wow it felt good!!  ”Hopefully”, I said to her “I will never have the pleasure of meeting you again”.   Settled myself down in the waiting room and started chatting to one of the ladies I have met loads of times before, we had a good chat and were laughing about our chemo brain and and how they have gone to mush.  At the end of the conversation she got called in and she said “sorry I can’t remember your name” I said “don’t worry I can’t remember yours either” we had a laugh.  After meeting each other around six times and introducing ourselves we still couldn’t remember names!

Got my bloods done very smoothly this time, got the lovely nurse “emmmmmm can’t remember her name now” to take the photo of me with my signs, she thought this was hilarious she said she has never seen a patient doing it before!    Off for coffee with my great cousin Terry Kinane we had plenty of caffeine and loads of laughs about ridiculous things like saucer burning chants in Jack Whites pub in Wicklow after a weekend in Brittas Bay – anyone remember that game where one person would end up with black all over their face?  We got kicked out in the end I think or very close to it.     Wow could got on about Brittas Bay stories all day but might get done for libel or then again might be a lot more interesting than cancer ;-)

Chemo went smoothly Terry stayed with me and was my personal slave and my friend Darina who is an Amazing Cancer Battler came up for an hour and then had the pleasure of Sinead who is nearly now finished her chemo.   In the meantime of course had a walk around the chemo room and had a chat with few others.   It’s quite a special sort of place you have a great bond and its like a club (albeit not a great one to be in) but a club nonetheless.

I have met so many fantastic people during chemo.  From the AJH (Ah Jaysus Howaya) who didn’t want to leave chemo, the lovely lady singing Garth Brooks, the mad Rasta Guy doing the Riverdance at Christmas, Tim with his orange crocks, the lady with the wooly hat under her wig, Mary from Bray, Catherine from Leixlip………. they are all amazing and thanks for the giggles along the way that we all sure needed.  I might be repeating myself but chemo and cancer is so humbling you realise how lucky you are (even with cancer) to not have it as bad as some other people and those people who have it really bad for them there is always someone worse of as well.  Fabulous spirit, Fabulous people, Fabulous laughs – overall it has been a great experience and I might sound like a nutter but I actually enjoyed it (apart from Christmas one where the lady was crying – who I have’nt seen since).

This blog was never meant to be a crusade for cancer with pink ribbons and me telling people all the time to get your boobs checked etc.etc.   However as usual I must have the last word :-)   Ladies if you feel there is something wrong and you get checked out and doctors fob you off, keep going, keep drilling, keep telling them you feel there is something wrong.  A friend of mine told me how she ended up in two doctors as no-one would take her seriously, she got mammo and ultra-sound and nothing showed up, she kept on and on saying there is something wrong.  Finally they gave her an MRI and they found huge cancer cells which could not be detected by the mammogram, this girl would have been dead within eight months if it hadn’t been found.    Folks we pay enough to Doctors etc lets not let them fob us off with  ”ah your grand” or “ah could be PMT” or “ah your just down”   Its YOUR body if you feel something is wrong keep on and on at them if your doctor can’t find out whats wrong go to another one.  Doctors can be changed as often as we like you know.  I am preaching all this and then get in a sweat when Doc comes to see me and I can’t remember all the questions I have for her – its ridiculous, why do we feel like this in front of doctors?   Hope the above makes sense, it’s a bit like motherhood and having a sick child you know your child and you know when there is really something wrong so go with your gut let nobody tell YOU how you are feeling sure how the feck would they know anyhow ;-)

Chemo machine beeped at me for last time and I was free to go, there was no brass band, no fanfare I just got unhooked from machine and thanked the nurses (hugged one of them) and said goodbye to the three patients that were left.  Wow its gonna be weird after having six months of my life all planned around chemo now not to go anymore outside my little cocoon which of course is where I wanna be.    Dad picked me up and we went to Featherstone Palace for some TLC and some Chicken (wrapped in bacon) and chips with my folks it was lovely.  Brother Colly called over for a while too.  I went happily up to my “heated” room, “fluffed up duvet” and was delighted to see a pair of rosary beads on my pillow and the Infant of Prague in my bed – my Dad had a great laugh doing that he said!  Wow love my folks they are the biz! Next morning hopped into bed beside my mother while Dad made us both breakfast – saying he has the patience of a saint is not enough!   This time has been a special time with my parents as it’s not often I get a sleepover with my folks.

In another two weeks I will be back on my feet and wont have this chemo fog hanging over my head.  At the moment my mouth feels like Gandhi’s left foot and my face looks like I have been sitting in front of a roaring fire for two hours it’s so red.  It will be a quiet Paddy’s weekend for me but I don’t give a crap I have plenty more Paddy’s Days to celebrate.

Check out the video the girls and myself made last night to celebrate having chemo finished we had a great laugh making it – as you can see I am not as quick to get up at the rest of them!!

Good things that happened this week

  • I finished chemo
  • Had loads of time with my cousin Terry
  • Had the pleasure to be with Darina and Sinead
  • I didnt have to make another appointment for chemo
  • 21,000 people saw my photo on last chemo – I am a tech head this for me is cool
  • Got brekkie in bed with me Mammy
  • Sun is shining and its the long weekend
  • No more English, No more French, No more sitting on a barbed wire fence!

Have a brilliant weekend all and again from the root of my toes to the new blade of hair on my head thats for coming with me on this trip.  Celebrate the life out of St Patricks Day weekend and have a blast!


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23 Responses to Chemo Finished – are we there yet? are we there yet?

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m speechless !! From a family that has been cursed by that poxy shit we are so so so delighted for you.
    Ready….. Steady…….. Three big hugs and kisses thrown at you from Killiney.
    Youuu daaaaaa wuuuuuumannnn!!! Xxx

  2. Anonymous says:

    Spent a while crying with you on Thursday Dee, so glad that you have finished with your chemo journey and are entering the next phase but sadly have another dear friend who is just starting his battle. Unfortunately, it is the way of the world. Life is a gift, go out and enjoy every minute of it. Thanks for all your honesty up to this point as you have shared with us the ups and downs of daily life of a person undergoing treatment for cancer and trying to keep family, work, body and soul together. You are one fantastic human being xx

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t know why it went anon – Caroline

    • Deirdre says:

      Thanks Caroline so sorry to hear about your friend there just seems to be so much of this crap around at the moment. Thank YOU for all your support during this you never ever ever forgot me and were always there with messages on my chemo days etc. your a great friend xxx

  3. Anonymous says:

    Delighted for you – you’re brilliant – Sarah and Declan

  4. Lorraine says:

    Completely wonderful and happy news! While you are thanking all of us for being along on this ride with you, don’t underestimate the fact that we, as well, have been so inspired by your strength and spirit, we thank YOU for reminding the rest of us how precious life is and to enjoy each and every moment! Keep us posted! and Congratulations!!!!! :-)

  5. Marian Deasy says:

    Tears in my eyes & a huge lump in my throat reading this blog, you are one strong, brave, fantastic woman, thank you for sharing your journey so far, congratulations on reaching this huge milestone, from the bottom of my heart I wish you & your family health, happiness & joy, you really are an inspiration x x

  6. Congratulations! What a milestone. I remember also crying at the last treatment, Such happy tears. Dee, heal and be well, always! xoxo

  7. Jackie McEwan says:

    Alan and myself are thrilled skinny that you have finished chemo… got the infant of Prague in your bed and I’ve got the infant of Edinburgh in mine….with two bottles of red in him he’s a bigger pain than usual but we are so proud of you Dee. Keep well and strong….the kids are amazing…could spread them on a cracker. Love Jackiexx

    • Deirdre says:

      your replies always make me laugh Jackie – can just imagine Alan with the two bottles of red inside him – thanks for all the best wishes hopefully see you sometime in the not too distant future xx

  8. Michelle says:

    Delighted for you. You really are amazing x

  9. Rose V says:

    So happy this part of the journey is OVER for you… are one amazing gal and I’m so proud of you ! xxx RoseV

  10. Liz - alias Amaryllis says:

    Hi Deirdre,
    Im going in for my last chemo on Monday – so looking forward to putting it all behind me and hope I’ll be half as brave as you facing into the next radiation and reonstruction phases.
    Ive been great lately but when I watched your video I cried all those tears that you cried on the M50 ……feel like a total wuzz here! Anyway best of luck with the rest of it – your kids are amazing too – love the daffodills at the end….

    • Deirdre says:

      Hi Liz – Big WHOOOP for you – last chemo on Monday!!! It will be great to get it behind you – must say today I feal great….. finally coming out of the haze!! Brave – I’m not brave at all we dont have a choice in this Liz – its sink or swim neither of us want to sink! As for the emotions they are strange things they catch you unawares dont they – Best of luck keep in touch – seeya on boards too :-)