You’re near the end of your chemo treatment—congrats! Keep these tips in mind for getting your completion underway.
Counting the days, hours and minutes until your last chemotherapy treatment can be a mixture of emotions—but not all of them celebratory. All through your treatment, you've been proactively attacking the cancer. You know that the medicines are definitely taking effect because you may have lost hair on your head (or elsewhere!), experienced nausea and vomiting, or dealt with other unpleasant side effects.
It's not unusual for some patients to feel worried when they stop the treatment. They worry that they haven't done enough chemo or that the drugs only caused side effects but did nothing to the cancer cells.
Some patients may have gone so far as to plan a party to celebrate their finished treatment but suddenly decide not to, out of fear it will jinx them into having the cancer return. You may also find yourself doing an inventory of your body, noting any ache or pain you have and questioning if it is the cancer growing back.
Most importantly, remember that you have done this treatment so that you can live a long, and hopefully healthy, life going forward—either cancer free or with cancer in control. It's an incredible accomplishment. So smile at the person who you see in the bathroom mirror who is bald, puffy, and tired. This person has been through a lot—and can now hopefully move forward into survivorship.
|For more info on undergoing chemotherapy, visit Guide2Chemo.com|
Lillie Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, is the administrative director of the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center. She writes a regular column for Living with Cancer Health Monitor. Ms. Shockney, who is a breast cancer survivor and a healthcare professional, also speaks to audiences across the country and has written books about breast cancer.