Today marks three weeks since Joe's final chemo on January 6th. Last night while brushing his teeth, he asked me if I was coming to chemo with him in the morning. I kind of choked, forgot what day it was, felt instantly panicked (shit, how could I forget?) and sad (oh no, not again!), and then just flooded with relief. Yes, that part, for now, is over.
It's so interesting and amazing how quickly we can settle into a routine. Joe started chemo in September, so every 21 days we were back at the Infusion Lounge. He'd feel horrible for a few days, increasingly so with each round, start to feel better, then bam, another chemo - start all over again, our poor little Sisyphus. That whole nasty experience lasted about 4 months, but it felt like it was for always, the new reality.
So, we might have been a little too excited about the final chemo. We clearly forgot how crappy the side effects made Joe feel, and he did, indeed, feel crappy, really crappy, for most of the first two weeks. I had to keep reminding Joe that hey, hang on, chemo had only been 10 days before, or two weeks before, so no wonder he felt like shit. His red blood cell count is still super-low, and restoring that will take a long time, we're told. No remedy but time.
And time without doctors is not something we're going to have for a while, I think. We expected we'd have a few months doctor-free, two months before check-in with the oncologist and the ENT, but that's not to be. Joe has an MRI scheduled on Feb 5th, so they can begin looking more closely at Whatever It Is that remains on his right tonsil. The oncologist said, at Joe's final treatment, that it doesn't look like lymphoma, but they can't tell what it is exactly. If the MRI reveals something suspicious, then they escalate the testing, CT scan then PET scan. It's possible, according to the ENT, that the tonsil could be removed and Whatever would go with it. That would be nice. But we won't know more until after the MRI.
No matter what, it's a good Wednesday today. I am so happy, Joe is so happy, that he won't spend 5 hours in a hospital bed while they fill him with poison. No chemo is great. That's something to celebrate!