So two weeks ago I finished my last round of chemo. It was not as hard as when I faced cancer the first time around, over two years ago now. I know that the chemo regime was harder this time, but I think that I was just stronger both physically and mentally. A lot of things contributed to me getting through this once again though.
Of course my family was very important through this whole thing. They helped me to not worry about the small things, or the big things, that come with the whole cancer experience. It allowed me to just focus on beating cancer once again.
My mom, who just recently moved out of state prior to my diagnosis, did everything in her power to make sure she was there every chemo week. Sometimes that even meant flying in and out multiple times in a week to juggle her job and being here for me. I guess it’s true that a mother will do anything for her kids.
My sister, just like the first time through, was there anytime she could be and juggled her work numerous times just to make sure she was there. On the days she wasn’t she always checked up on me.
And for the first time in a long time I saw a different side to my brother. I have always looked up to him; not sure why, maybe it’s because he is such a good athlete and I never was, but now I can say it’s because I got to see the caring and nurturing side of him. I’m sure it had a lot to do with the fact that we live together, whereas in 2010 I was living with my best friend. But no matter the reason, this time he always made sure I was okay. If he heard me throwing up he would come running into the bathroom, rub my back and say it’s ok, everything will be fine. He would always try to encourage me that there were only a couple days left in this round, or towards the end he would make sure to remind me that there were only a few days left until I was completely done.
Then there was my girlfriend, who stayed with me the week I got home from chemo. The nights were always tricky; I dealt with a lot of anxiety during the couple of days right after chemo ended. Many nights I wouldn’t sleep because my mind would wander. She would always try to relax me and try to calm me down so I could sleep. One night she even went for a walk at 4am with me when she had to be up at 7:00 for work.
Last but not least is my best friend Christina. She was my go-to person. Anytime I would feel down or not have a good day because of throwing up, or whatever, I would call her. She knew how to straighten me out. At the drop of a hat, if I called her and needed something, I could always count on her to be there. Don’t get me wrong, my family would do the same thing for me, but I just always felt more comfortable either hanging out with her or talking to her. Christina, like the first time through, was my source of comfort in an otherwise uncomfortable situation. She was always looking out for me, even when I wasn’t expecting it. There were nights I would get up to vomit, and not even make a peep, and she would immediately be like, “Are you okay?” It was as if she slept with one eye always open, making sure I was ok. It didn’t matter if she slept or not.
Not to be forgotten is my stuffed monkey Noodle. I have always been a kid at heart, even at almost 30-years-old. Just like kids I need my comfort, and that came in the form of a little monkey that was with me every step of the way. It didn’t matter whether I was in the hospital, the hotel during chemo, or home, he was always by my side. I guess no matter how old you get you always need to feel safe and comfortable, and that is what Noodle has and always will do for me.
Also, I dont want to forget the words and prayers of many, many people along the way. There is something about seeing words of encouragement from all sorts of people; it kind of just picks you up when your feeling a little down.
Now comes the waiting game; waiting for my PET scan date to come so I can know what direction I’m going to be heading in in the next couple of months. Until then I’m just focusing on getting better and stronger each and every day.