We Interrupt This Program…

… for an update on the 100 Summits project and my cancer treatment.

I completed my last chemotherapy infusion two weeks ago today. My side effects are mostly gone, with the notable exception of my nearly-bald head, which will likely remain almost completely hairless for at least another week before I start getting “baby fuzz.” If everything goes as expected, I’ll have a little “real hair” within six weeks.

The first couple of weeks after finishing chemo are a difficult time. Treatment is “over” but because the side effects from the final treatment persist, it’s hard to really feel like the process has ended. I’m back to my pre-cancer exercise regimen (walking 10k a day) which feels great – so at least I’m making progress.

I had a CT scan on Monday morning, and expect to receive the results in the next few days. We’re hoping it shows me cancer-free. If so, it means I’m finished with treatment–from there out, I’ll need blood work every six months for two years, and then annually for three more, before I “graduate” from oncology-related visits entirely.

Cancer is scary – and not just during diagnosis and treatment. Even though the surgeon removed my cancer completely, and the chemotherapy was prophylactic rather than used to treat an ongoing disease, I still have concerns about recurrence. Apparently, most (if not all) survivors do. Cancer is a brush with mortality–normally unexpected and always frightening. I’m grateful that mine was treatable (and curable) and very much aware that for many people, the fight ends differently.

My husband and I are planning to fly to Japan on May 15, and I’m hoping to start my hundred summits quest on June 1. I hope you’ll check in frequently — I’ll chronicle the climbs both here on the blog and on my Facebook and Instagram pages.

Have you, or has someone you love, been through cancer treatment? How did you (or they) feel when the process ended?