When you’re running mid to long distance in track the thing you always look forward to is the bell lap. The last lap is referred to as the bell lap because a bell is rung to indicate to the runners it’s their final lap. When you’re running multiple laps around the track, that bell is helpful to hear and signal you to turn on that last gear and give it your all. Time for the kick.
Despite the excitement of the final lap there is some trepidation. The final lap is tough. It hurts. You have to dig deep and really push yourself to the finish line. But then you are done. You catch your breath, walk it out and recover. You finished. And that’s a good feeling.
I’m on the bell lap for my treatment. I have my final immunotherapy treatment in three weeks. And then I am done with my infusions. No more time in the infusion room, hooked up to meds. Time to move onto the next race or chapter. This season is now complete. (And I hope this season remains complete for good!)
Despite the excitement of finally being done I’m nervous. There’s that lingering worry will I stay healthy? I won’t have my blood counts checked as frequently so will I still be ok?
And there’s a surgery after the last treatment. Not a bad one as I can finally have my port (aka funny looking button) taken out. It’s a relatively simple procedure but I’m not looking forward to the anesthesia or being on the operating table again. My surgery is also late morning and I can’t eat before (this not eating part sucks!)
But then I’m done. This chapter is behind me. I’ve done what has been asked of me and it’s time to recover and prepare for the next season or chapter which I’ll call the maintenance phase. There will be a lot of medical appointments to make sure I stay healthy but the treatment is done.
The bell lap was always hard even in races where I felt good. In races when I didn’t pace myself properly or just didn’t have it, the bell laps were rough. But that’s life. Some days are good, some days are bad but we push through. We feel good some days and other days not so much. Some days are hard and some are easy. But all that matters at the end of the day is that we finish.
I’m taking that turn for that final lap as I finally approach the finish line. The year long immunotherapy treatments will be done. And I’ve come out a winner in the game of life which is far more impressive and important than any race I’ve ever won.
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