Here's the thing about Chemo. It doesn't give a fuck about your plans, your timeline or what you think it should be like. Chemo will do whatever the fuck it wants, when it wants, how it wants. So, when I was back on track... Port, check. New drugs, check. No more allergic reactions, check... I was counting down the days to the final chemo, thinking there would be no more curve balls.
Hahahahahahahahahaha. That is so hilarious.
Turns out the Carboplatin, as it is known to do, caused my white blood cell count to go down. A LOT. Like... "You are now neturopenic," a lot. Like... "You are not getting chemo this week, you are now going to learn how to give yourself shots to help bring your white blood cell count up, and you are not leaving the house for the next three days," a lot.
Yep, that's right, neutropenic AND... bonus... I got to learn how to give myself shots. One shot a day for four days after every chemo infusion until the last one. Turns out, it really wasn't too hard once I got used to it.
Luckily, these shots worked and I didn't miss another chemo. It also turns out that I didn't need to make up the missed week of chemo, thankfully. My White Blood Cells behaved enough to make chemo possible up to the last infusion, but we had to take serious precautions around the house, and I was not allowed to be around big crowds.
Guess what I do at the end of each summer for the program I run? I MC an event in front of 500+ people, then participate in a dinner with 100 people afterwards. Well, this year, I stayed backstage until go-time, no mingling with people for me, then left right afterwards with no dinner for me. But, I was happy to be there at all. It was the one night I wore my wig and it was the day after my last big infusion, so I had to power through, but it was totally worth it!
After the big night, I crashed, and crashed hard. The largest crash of the summer. I didn't leave the couch except to pee and to take a very short walk halfway down the block. Other than that, I was on the couch sleeping and binge watching Netflix.
Then, I had two more weekly infusions. Then... I was done. FINAL CHEMO! I had dreamed about this day. I had a big marker for this day because I had bought tickets to the Tom Petty concert at the Hollywood Bowl for September 22nd (bought them before my diagnosis!). Last chemo was September 21st. Radiation mapping was the morning of September 22nd. Power nap in the afternoon at the hotel. Then... Tom Petty. Second to last concert of his tour, and as we all know now, second to last concert ever. I'm so grateful to have seen him, and it was an amazing night. I made it to 11PM, then I had to call it quits. Didn't stay for the encore, but I was so happy to make it that late into the night (even though I sat for most of the concert!).
The next day, I did pay for it.. but I just slept in the car the entire drive home and was so happy to know that this phase, this crazy chemo phase, was over. Now a ten day break... and on to radiation!