A final chemo treatment for any cancer patient is something to celebrate. Since all of my R-CHOP treatments where pretty much the same, I decided to just write about the final session. It’s something I’ll always remember, as it signified the most difficult road in my treatment coming to a close.
A few months before my final chemo treatment (probably after my fourth R-CHOP treatment), my oncologist informed me that, based on blood tests, they cannot find any signs of cancer. He then said that, after I was finished with my chemo treatments, he would schedule a PET scan, which was a more indepth way of testing for cancer. That will be the subject of a later post.
As I said, all treatments where about the same. I would arrive at the clinic and go to the admission desk, where they would sign me in (just like with any doctor visit). After which, one of the nurse assistants would come get me, take my vitals, and then have me wait for the doctor. Then, my oncologist would see me, examine me, and update me on how things where progressing. Then, it was back to the waiting room, until the chemo nurse came to get me.
Depending on how busy they where that day, it sometimes could take about an hour before the chemo nurse brought me back to the treatment room. The first thing she would do is access the Port a Cath and flush it with saline. Then, they would give me Benadryl to alleviate any nausea. Finally, they would start administering the chemo drugs. This was the same with all sessions, including my final chemo treatment.
My Mom would sit with me during most of my chemo treatments, only missing maybe one or two of them. We would pack our lunches the night before, and bring them with us. Because of the ileostomy, I would have to get up to empty my ostomy bag quite often. Luckily, I was able to wheel my IV pole with me, so I could use the restroom.
After my “final chemo treatment” was finished, we where picked up by my brother and taken home. However, I did not know that this would be the last session. This only made 7 rounds of the R-CHOP treatment, so I should have had one more.
I arrived at the oncology clinic that day, expecting to have my 8th and final session. I saw the doctor as usual, then went into the waiting room. That day, I went in by myself. My uncle had dropped me off in the morning, and my brother was going to pick me up later that day.
Then, my doctor came into the waiting room and said that, he felt I did not need any more chemo, and I would not be getting treatment that day. After 7 R-CHOP sessions and 1 RICE treatment, there was no need to put my body through any more strain from the toxic drugs. So, that meant the previous session was actually my final chemo treatment.
That would not be the end of my cancer treatment however. There would be a few more surgeries and radiation treatment, the temporary side effect of a foot drop (from one of the chemo drugs) as well as other doctor visits. That was ok though. I was just glad that, after months of chemotherapy, I was now done with my final chemo treatment.