Dear Family and Friends,
Gabrielle here. I can't stop thinking about the fact that when I pull off my little pink paper chain ring tonight, there will be just TEN rings left. That's right--ten days from tomorrow I will have my final chemo treatment! Thus, on our walk today (in the pouring rain, I might add), Daniel and I had fun discussing what my top ten things things were to look forward to about ending chemo. Of course there are many more than ten, but here are my Letterman's Top Ten--in no particular order.
10. Energy. Today, like most people would feel after 16 straight weeks of chemo, I had little energy. Barely enough to shower, brush my teeth, eat, and have a short walk. Other than that it was just reading and t.v. I can't wait to have a normal amount of energy again!
9. Hair. Bye bye hats, scarves, and the wig I've probably only worn five times because it gives me headaches. Hello to needing more shampoo than the size of half of a grain of rice to clean my scalp!
8. Sushi. Japonessa happy hour and fresh, raw fish--here I come!
7. No nausea. Nausea was much better when you knew that it was going to produce a beautiful new baby to love. I so look forward to not feeling nauseous...though it was surely not a price too high to pay for medicine that has killed my cancer.
6. No metal taste in my mouth. Try eating your next meal while sucking on a penny and you will understand how much I look forward to this one. (Don't really try this...or if you do, have someone standing by to Heimlich you!)
5. Crowds and Kids. When your immune system is blasted by chemo, you are frequently told by your chemo nurses to avoid crowds, kids, and sick people. I look forward to enjoying crowds and kids again....though if you are sick, please continue to stay away until you are well!
4. Blue Cheese. I love blue cheese and while on chemo, it's not the best idea to ingest moldy foods. I have cheated on this one a time or too, but not without a large slice of guilt and anxiety. Here's to the return of moldy cheese!
3. Work. I know. All of you are counting down the days until your summer vacations from work while I am just gearing up to head back. But it will be really great to have something challenging and meaningful to do with my days, to see my wonderful colleagues and donors again, and to receive paychecks again!
2. Clean Kitchen Table. If you've been to our house during chemo, you have probably been shocked by the arsenal of drugs lined up the full length of our kitchen table. Soon it will be goodbye to pills for nausea, shots to make white blood cells, pills to stop the chemo from giving me heartburn, and on and on it goes. I long to see only the old wooden table that Steve put the finish on, and that our kids grew up painting on, eating on, decorating cookies on, and scratching up with their silverware...and to see it completely bare again, with perhaps a cheery little plant or candle in the center.
1. Fridays. After 18 Fridays being taken up by chemo, Daniel and I will both have our Fridays back! We can unpack our chemo bag, return it to its rightful use as a gym bag, and actually schedule normal activities again for Fridays if we so choose. Or perhaps we'll leave them gloriously free, uncluttered, unstressed. To not overpack my schedule, as I am proned to do, would be a great lessen to take with me from having had cancer. HAD cancer. Past tense. Thank you, Lord, for those glorious words!