Thursday, February 25, 2016


I'm done with radiation.

All done! Done done done!

And the nice folks who've been with me through the whole thing presented me with this:

Nice touch, right? I thought the "appreciation" part was especially nice. I mean, I appreciate them, but they appreciate me? Really? I guess it's one of those things: "we know you have a choice of where to go when you have cancer, so we're glad you came to us." One of the radiation therapists gave me a nice hug and wished me a good life. It was nice.

Afterward, I had a brief meeting with the doctor for my discharge instructions, which are basically keep doing the skin care routine for two weeks and come back in six weeks for a checkup. She also gave me a summary of my treatment to date, including the surgery, chemo and radiation, along with the standard recommendations for rechecks. I guess it's the standard for the hospital, since a lot of people go through their whole treatment process there, but it felt a little odd for me, given that I've been going to another facility for the bulk of the time. It'll all be fine - I'll make a copy for my medical oncologist - the chemo lady - and discuss it with her at my next appointment. 

Now it's just her, once every three weeks --- and a check in with the surgeon after my yearly mammo in May. 

I felt a mixture of emotions when I left the building. Sure, I was happy and relieved to be finished, but I also felt like crying. It's not as if I made a million friends in radiation, but it was a routine and something I'd gotten used to over the past several weeks. And now the "specialness" and intensity is gone. 

One of the hospital's breast navigators met with me last week to talk about survivorship and mentioned that there's a bit of a let down after all of this. I know it's natural, and there are groups and counselors and other resources to help with it. I even left a message with one of the counselors to get an appointment, but I never got a call back. Perhaps I need to make that call again.

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