A year ago, on May 4th, I sat for my last chemo infusion. In the middle of the pandemic lockdown, bald, eyelashless, and really tired of being really tired I went to chemo alone.
(Eyelashless, by the way, is honestly way weirder than being bald because I looked like my human-skin-suit was slipping and showing the lizard-y V creature underneath. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you either missed the ’70’s or the ’80’s or mid-2010’s for the campy sci-fi joy of V, and I’m sorry for you.) And my awesome friends showed up that evening with a noisy honking parade of cars and a bell or two to smash on my driveway. I kept the dove when I picked up the pieces that day. It’s still on my nightstand.
May the 4th (as in the lispy “May the 4th be with you” of Star Wars geekdom) is now inextricably tied to celebrating the end of chemo for me. A year later I have poufy obnoxious hockey hair growing out, I’ve gained all the weight lost during chemo back (something I’m less than thrilled about, but now that I’m clear I can work on), my scars are mostly healed and hidden, my toenails are almost completely regrown, and my allergies are nearly gone. Turns out chemo resets your auto-immune system.
I do not recommend chemo as a treatment for allergies.
I also STILL have days my toes are numb. I have real trouble focusing or catching the right words out of the ether in my brainpan. I forget things I shouldn’t. Is that covid-stress, chemo-brain-chemistry issues, or just flat out getting older? No idea, but it’s annoying as hell.
I’m not having a meltdown or panic attack today. I took the day off (I suspect I’ll take today off until I hit that semi-magickal 5 year mark) just in case, and since I feel good I’ll use it to celebrate. Because life is unpredictable and sometimes too short and none of us know what’s next, so I’m happy today and that’s enough.
And for my Star Wars friends, I found this on Facebook the other day and laughed way harder than I should’ve, so I’m sharing. If anyone knows the genius who came up with this meme, I’m happy to give credit.