The week didn't start that well, but ended on an up note.
My last infusion took 5 1/2 hours from time I showed up until I got out of there. In middle of infusion I barfed. That's the first time that has happened, likely because of anxiety I was feeling. (staff had waited for a couple of hours before giving me planned anti anxiety med). Roberta Ando picked me up from this last appointment, just as she had the first, listened to me whine on the way home, and left me with some flowers and gluten free beer to celebrate once I was done with my pills later in the week.Thanks again, Roberta.
Good news is that Doc confirmed that, like PET scan done recently, the last CAT SCAN has shown that tumors had shrunk leaving only a non cancerous cyst on my my kidney. (Cyst is "nothing to worry about" according to my Doc).
BTW--Got bill for PETSCAN that I had done a few weeks ago--$2,100, my copay was $100. So the two PETSCANs alone cost (or were at least "billed' by) Kaiser i $4,000, OUCH, can only imagine what total cost of cancer treatment was, I would guess in excess of $30-40k.
Saturday has come and gone and I have NOW taken my LAST Prednisone tablet--150 of those over the last four months. They are nasty tasting--glad I figured out how to put them into gel caps . Got a good walk in the sunshine to celebrate end of chemo on Saturday. The weather the last week in Portland has been great, a very typical February week of "false spring" leading up to a few more months of clouds and rain, in my experience. But I will take it, it's been a good tonic for my last week of chemo.
Upcoming: Now it's an appointment with my Doc in another month and likely every month for next year. This form of cancer I understand has a high rate of return ('refraction") in first two years and important to monitor frequently. I'm told that blood tests aren't the most important tool for diagnosis of whether cancer has come back. More important I am told is Docs hands on exam of lymph nodes and my reporting of my condition--especially , I think, night sweats, swelling , fatigue.
While I am sure cancer will always be in the back of my mind it's time to get on with my life. I have a few trips planned for this summer, and looking forward to those, dropping some more weight, getting back in shape, and growing my hair back sometime this summer.
Will discontinue weekly posts to this blog but will post after exams , will likely do a "lessons learned" post at some point, and will post PET scans and pics of me with HAIR once that happens. So don't discontinue your email subscription just yet, there is more of this story to come.
Most importantly, thanks to many people who have taken time to call and write, and for those who have been drivers, and friends for many years. The psychological burden of the treatment has been far more demanding than the physical impacts. All of your thoughts and concerns have meant a lot to me and have gotten me through these long winter months.