I am done, finished and thoroughly cooked! My daughter accompanied me to my last radiation treatment on Friday. What a day it was. I woke earlier than my usual time on Friday and knew it would be an emotional day when I cried in the shower. My skin is sporting so many different colors from the radiation treatments and it is painful to the touch. My upper armpit is one shade off from the color black. It is close to looking charred. The middle portion is dark brown and the lower portion is feverish looking red. The armpit is the area of my radiated skin that is the most tender and uncomfortable. The chest boasts colors of brown and bright red. My skin is itchy and feels like dry parchment paper. Physically it hurts but I could not wipe the smile off my face as Paige videoed me that final day of treatment. I finished six weeks of radiation and was able to continue to work! My skin did not blister nor break open. I whispered thanks to my Filipino daddy for my skin. I whispered another thanks because so many were praying for me on a daily basis during this difficult treatment.
It was dark when I arrived at work on Friday morning. As I walked towards my work area, turning on lights, I could see something hanging from the front of my desk. I approached my desk and standing there I began to cry (well, sob would more accurately describe it). My shoulders shook while I tried to catch the tears flowing down my face. I was grateful not many of my co-workers were there to witness that scene. The staff where I work had decorated my desk with pink twirling crepe paper, balloons, a potted plant and a long sign that said “Congratulations”. They were doing what I had asked in my blog during week five and were celebrating with me! However, the celebration did not stop there. Other staff members joined together and prepared breakfast; complete with a hot yummy casserole, pull apart sticky buns, donuts, muffins, fresh fruit and juice for the entire office to enjoy. My supervisor said, “Nicki, when you finish your treatment today do not come back to work. Take the rest of the day off. Celebrate.” I am rarely without words but this was one of those times I was speechless. I did not expect anything of this nature when I said, “Celebrate with me where ever you are.” But celebrate is exactly what I did. Their thoughtfulness made my final radiation a day to remember.
Paige drove me to my treatment and afterwards took me to Goodwood’s restaurant for a late lunch. She had asked for the afternoon off from her job and we shopped a tiny bit. She kept asking if I was feeling alright and though my radiated skin was hurting, my heart was happy to have a few hours of my daughter’s company all to myself. We ended the day together with dessert at the Cheesecake Factory.
I went to bed that night extremely tired but with a smile on my face and yes tears again flowing from my eyes. However, these were grateful tears for my precious family, my dear, dear friends who pray for me and for the thoughtfulness of my co-workers. Even in the darkest hours, God is good.