I am ecstatic to report that the last of the bags of poison has been infused into my superior vena cava. I am finished with chemotherapy for the foreseeable future.
Today's won't be my last trip to the chemo ward (which has the disarming name "Infusion Suite," as though it were some kind of restful, fragrant tea house). I'll be there again tomorrow to get my usual post-treatment shot of Neulasta, a drug that boosts my white blood cell count. And I'll be returning every couple months for a booster dose of one of the medications, though thankfully not one of the ones with evil side effects. Anyway, the nurses were so great I'll be glad to visit them from time to time.
Because the effects of chemotherapy drugs are cumulative, each round is a little harder last. Round Five was not fun, and I woke up this morning dreading the coming weeks, although dread was weirdly combined with a great eagerness to get on with it and get it done--a kind of Senioritis. My friend Dvora says that when such difficult feelings are dogging her, she says to them, "Well, all right, then, Terror and Dread; get your shoes on. We have someplace to be."
Dvora spent the day with me, as she has for all six rounds, entertaining me with Edward Gorey pop-up books, original works of art, and her hilarious gallows humor (representative sample: fantasy of turning to a glum stranger in the elevator on the way to the chemo floor and saying "Whatsa matter? Oh--is it Stage IV?")
And though I have about three weeks of yuck ahead, I surprised myself with my ebullience at the end of the day. I said good-bye to each of the nurses--they were pleased for me--and then walked out and skipped the length of the hall from Infusion to the elevator.