I completed my radiation treatment today. 33 treatments! I got hugs from my therapists and my doctor greeted me with huge congrats. Then it was time to ring the bell.
I got my certificate, then a small group of staff gathered to witness my bell ringing. They told me to read aloud, the words on the plaque. There was something pretty corny and school-ish about that, but I was game. I read those words, then clanged that bell 3 times. Luckily I had some candy canes with me. I needed those for bribery.
Posing With Candy
I don't like being alone in the spotlight, so the others joined me for a photo.
Then someone hollered for Don to get in a picture. Don's been more than a good sport, so he happily joined me, posing with the bell and certificate. Then someone asked where my donkey was and insisted on another photo. I held up my little good-luck-mascot.
After my appointment, Don and I had a special lunch outing. We toasted with a little bubbly and had a lovely meal. It felt wonderful knowing I no longer had radiation in my daily routine. But I don't think it really sunk in... what we were celebrating.
On the drive home, I got a text from my son. I wasn't sure Scott & Heidi even knew it was my last day. (We've been busy discussing other things, like holidays.) But Scott texted his congrats and wanted to know how I felt about being done.
When we got home there was a beautiful arrangement waiting on the porch, from my daughter and her fiance. I read the note and teared up. I'm a person who acts silly with donkeys, I'm not a person who cries easily.
A while later, I got on the computer and found myself tearing up again. This time I saw Scott's post on Facebook. He was sharing my good news, with words like grace and strength. But it was his opening words, "so proud of my mama..." that put the lump in my throat.
I Get It Now
So it took me all day to get it, how this is more than just a bell-ringing day.
By the time I opened a card from Don with a note about planning a future celebration, I realized that my family was taking this day a lot more seriously than I was. I had been too busy forgetting about all the procedures, treatments and worries...
My family allowed me to remember that there is something serious behind this celebration. My kids, who posed for me, in coordinating outifts 25 years ago are all grown up. Now they have to remind Mom to be serious for moment. They gave me permission to be proud of what I've gone through.
So for a moment, I allowed myself to go back and remember last May... that agonizing morning, 200 days ago, when I worked up the courage to pick up the phone to call the kids. Don offered, but I wanted the kids to hear my voice and I knew I would feel better when I heard theirs. They both reacted with honest emotion, then strength and encouragement. From that day on Heidi and Scott and of course their dad, have kept me supported with their comforting concern and their uplifting humor.
My kids were able to remind me today, that I can enjoy the celebration and enjoy some happy tears!
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast cancer and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. Only this time, it was affecting more than me. I ranted for a year, until I got my vaccine in March 2021.
Coronary Artery Disease was the reason I restarted this blog on September 26, 2021. This time it was Don who was dealing with a worry that started with the letter "C".
Coronavirus and Cancer, Coronary Artery Disease! All are evil, but none can totally get me down... if I vent! I usually end up feeling a little more positive at the end of each post!