It is a bright and sunny day in Bangkok, and it hasn’t sunk in yet …………………………….
……. but it is there in black and white – and blue and red – my final radiation zap! I even get 2 neat lines underneath the final session just to make sure I don’t get confused and come back for more! Finally, 25 out of 25 sessions done! One Feisty Blue Gecko well cooked and done!
So it is goodbye to the Bunker with its lead lined door and red flashing light ………………
Goodbye to the blue mould that has held me in the same position ………….
and the beeps, whirrs and rays of the machine.
I will see the staff again at follow up appointments, so I have words of immense thanks and gratitude to them, rather than a goodbye.
And hello the new phase of RECOVERY!
I realise it is exactly 7 months ago today that I had my first chemo session, and – how weird is this? It is 8 months TO THE DAY that I first discovered the lump. The past 8 months have been the most challenging, frightening and difficult of my life, yet I have so much to be thankful for.
It is far from over though. The heavy duty treatment which was set out when I was diagnosed is now completed. I have appointments this week with Drs W and W2 for a review of how the treatment has gone, and to plan the next phase of care. We will also find out if I am fit to travel long haul and get back to Scotland for long overdue leave. I will have review and follow up appointments after my leave. Depending on how Dr W2 feels the treatment has gone, I may have another surgery – my de-portation ;) or removal of my port. I have started taking Tamoxifen (another story for another post) as a measure to prevent recurrence.
I also have a lot of physical recovery to focus on. Twang arm has been attempting to stage a comeback during radiation and is really stiff and painful. Slowly but surely revenge is coming for Twang arm. The skin changes and burn from radiation need a bit of time to heal. The nerve damage from surgery also needs work to repair slowly. I still have a number of reminders of chemo, especially Taxotere – numb fingers, tender feet, aching and tired legs, sensitive skin – and BALDNESS! These take time to get out of the system, and some reminders may be permanent.
It feels as if Bangkok and I are both nursing our wounds and scars and looking towards the healing stage. We have been through something life-changing, unforgettable and traumatic. Although things will never be the same again, for the moment at least it feels as if it is time for healing and recovery.
Today, Bangkok also feels as if it is moving away from the past dark days. There is a huge clean up going on, the sky train and other public transportation is getting back to normal. There was a violent thunderstorm last night which seems to have cleansed the atmosphere and the day is fresh and bright today.
Life changed for sure when I discovered that lump, and although it will be different, I feel at last as if I am on a different path now that I am on the other side of all the heavy stuff. I am under no illusions – I know that recurrence or metastasis is a risk, and once diagnosed the fear of recurrence is ever present. I know that the old port might be needed again one day and I could have to face heavy treatment at some point again in the future.
But for now I need to bask in the sunshine of this phase and enjoy the fact that I have got through all of this.