Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Graduation to Me!!

It's over! I'm done! Last treatment was today at 1:15pm! Despite the fact that this last week felt like several years all on it's own, I made it through....with flying colors (mostly red and purple!) And they gave me this certificate to prove it!

I know of no way better to get my endorphins flowing than to make people laugh and to give unexpected gifts. As hard as it was to voluntarily succumb to more beams when I was peeling and hurting worse than ever, I dressed up in all the pink stuff my friends sent over these past three months including the outrageous pink and orange wide brimmed hat, pink jewlery and bright pink hospital slippers with shiny bling for my one last treatment.

As hoped, I put a few smiles on their face when I walked in the door. The staff at St Peter's Radiation Oncology was wonderful - this picture is me with two of my nurses Patty and Sharon. I know how hard it was for them to keep sending me in there when my skin looks like it does but they were amazingly compassionate and caring every visit and took the time to look at it every time.
We also brought 3 dozen Golden Harvest Farms cider donuts for all those I interacted with and all those behind the scenes - the receptionists, physicists, the researchers, so many others - who came out to get a sample and say goodbye. And for the doctors, nurses and radiation techs David brought bottles of Hudson-Chatham winery's Pomme Bolle (hard cider made of the Hudson Valley's Northern Spy apples), directions to the winery, and free wine tasting coupons. If we get a few new customers out of this then maybe that's the reason I chose St. Peter's.

And then I got home to 33 of the most beautiful pink roses you have ever seen from my college buddies who always seem to have the most impeccable timing!

After an early dinner with our friends Jennifer and Berry in Hudson, David opened us up a lovely Querceto Chianti Classico to celebrate, the flavors of which are taking me back to the hills of Tuscany.

It has been a long 3 1/2 months. Thank you to all of you for helping me summon the courage to get through it all with your notes, facebook comments, phone calls, light and love. Now it's time to rest, heal and get back to the rest of our life without interruption. And plan that next trip to Tuscany among other things!


Stacey said...

I love seeing all the pictures! It was really touching to see all the signatures of all the providers on your "diploma" - you obviously made quite a very *positive* impression on so many. (How could YOU not? Still it's lovely to get that affirmation!)

And you look GORGEOUS in the other pictures - pink is definitely your color! Much love, s

Kathy said...

Thanks Stacey - I'm so done with pink but it was fun to dress in it head to toe! I think my positive attitude did help boost the day for the staff. I have always had such appreciation for nurses and what they do. Always dealing with people who are sick, sad, overwhelmed by a cancer diagnosis/treatment has to be a huge drain! Yet these people always had a smile, a cheery comment, a compliment, positive energy for everyone. I felt it important to give a little of that back to them and I hope I did in some small way.