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Chemo No. 6 - Fri. Session - (Journal Date: June 24, 2005)

6/29/2005

Today we had the 9:00 a.m. chemo appointment so it seemed appropriate to bring in the breakfast bagels and fixin's from Panera Bread. The nurses are never quite sure what I'm going to be up to next, but I like to keep them guessing!!

My best buddy from work came by the HPRHS Cancer Center during my final round and surprised the nurses with his "Bubba Teeth." He has a set of fake teeth that are really UGLY...they have huge gaps in front, are super crooked, and they need lots of work!! You can hardly understand him when he speaks, but we all got several good laughs as the shenanigans continue!! The chemo nurses will never be the same, and they think that my whole staff is crazy!

Later, my office ladies came by for a very nice visit at the Center and they got to meet some of the nurses and staff. They had flowers, wine, and a lasagna dinner prepared and they delivered it to our home for my family to enjoy. They have been wonderfully supportive to me through all of this...even on my bad hair days!!

During my chemo, one of my former secretaries (and fellow cancer survivor) brought by a truly thoughtful gift of butterflies to be released at the end of my final chemo. They were raised at a local farm that provides them for a variety of special occasions. The four (4) butterflies were individually wrapped in their own small white box with the date of my final chemo printed on the outside of the boxes. She brought them in a styrofoam cooler with a cold pack inside to keep the butterflies "chilled" and thereby inactive. With one hour to go, we took them out of the cooler to warm them to room temperature. At the end of my chemo, my wife and I, together with the chemo nurses released them from the outdoor courtyard at the Cancer Center into the big blue sky. They circled for a good while enjoying their newly discovered freedom as we watched. We saved the other two butterflies for our daughters to release in our backyard at home, which was very inspiring.

It was awesome and very uplifting for all of us, especially if you know the Native American Legend of the Butterfly:

"As a gift to His Human children, the Great Spirit created butterflies. He took black from the maiden's hair, yellow from the warm sun, and blues from the lake and sky. Once He gathered the most beautiful colors, He made them into butterflies. If you want a special wish to come true, capture and whisper your heart's desire to it. Since butterflies make no sound, they cannot tell the wish to anyone but Him. Being so colorful, the butterflies will easily be seen and the heart's prayers quickly answered."

We wound down our final chemo date with hugs for all, and even a photo opportunity for a group shot with the Center staff. One of those crazy nurses jumped into my lap and I have the photo to prove it!! Thought I was going to blow-out my porta-cath!!!

We have made some tremendous friends at the Cancer Center, and while I didn't really look forward to coming to chemo, I sure am going to miss the wonderful people that took such great care of me and continue to be there for others. They love their work and they are truly a blessing to all the patients that need the hope, care, and joy that these ladies bring!! I'm sure I'll find a reason to drop by with some sort of surprise?!?!

Now that chemo is over, the next course of business is a follow-up CT Scan scheduled for July 11 and a visit with my doctor to discuss the results on July 13. I expect another PET Scan at the end of July, after all of the strong chemo drugs have subsided and they won't influence the test results.

It has been a long road...but now we are just waiting on the good news. If Lance Armstrong got through all of his cancer in four treatments, I should be ready to leap tall buildings after taking six.

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