STORIES Breast Cancer Awareness Bye bye chemo Final round. Last one Finito It feels like it’s taken forever to get here, but get here we did! I’ve been biting my tongue for weeks as people cheerily say “only one more to go!” When I know one more is still more hell than I would ever want to endure. As its my last one I don my superhero cape my friend Kirstin had made for me a few months ago. I often feel like I get credit where credit isn’t necessarily due, but on this occasion, having endured this complete minefield of hellishness, I do actually feel pretty powerful today! So I proudly wear my cape as I hurtle head first to the final hurdle! I had my usual chemo companion, my mum, who has been a rock through the last 6 months. She has been a cook, a nurse, a cleaner, a chauffeur, a childminder, a drug reminder and everything else in between. But as we near the end I realise first and foremost she is my mother and it can’t be easy watching your child go through cancer and chemo. I would rather do this every day of the week than watch one of my children go through it. But theres never been any hesitation, whatever time of day, or whatever plans she may have had, everything was dropped to be by my side if I needed her. So here we were for the sixth and final time. As the cold cap went on I kept saying to myself ‘last time, last time’. The pain seemed to be worse than usual but I knew now was not the time to give up. I had come too far to fall at the final hurdle. While I haven’t kept all my hair, I’ve kept a thin covering. So when the chemo is done it can start to thicken up. I am so glad despite the pain that I did the cold cap. Cancer has taken over my life for the last 6 months, while it wont be done when chemo is done the main chunk of it will be. The last thing I would want would be to have more reminders of my cancer. So hopefully by keeping some hair I’ll be able to shake the cancer chic a little earlier than normal. Everything about this chemo infusion seemed to take longer than any others. Longer for the drugs to come up. Longer for the nurse to load the IV. Longer for the infusion to go in. It was like someone had pushed the slo-mo button at a time I really wanted to fast forward! At other chemos I distracted myself, I listened to music, I watched youtube videos, I slept. At this one I was transfixed. On the door. I kept looking over and thinking next time I walk through that, this will be over. Some patients were coming in for their first chemo and it really made me appreciate how far Ive come knowing what a long arduous journey they had in front of them. As the chemo infusion came to an end I expected to feel a huge sense of relief and excitement but actually it was a complete anti climax. The cold cap headache had started and my docetaxol legs were kicking in. And it hit home that its not over yet. While there will be no more chemo going in, this one still had to go through my system. Then the time came. I walked through that door for the last time. I may not have been skipping down the hall to leave, but I did drag my aching painful legs down the hall with more optimism than before. The end was in sight.