Thursday, June 18, 2009

The End of My Hitchhiker Haunting Me

For the last six months I have been haunted by a hitchhiker. (My euphemism for cancer.) Today is the end of that haunting. I completed my 20th and final radiation therapy.

"What does cancer have to do with Haunt Jaunts?" you may be wondering.


Let me explain...


I don't know why I didn't include the tale of my hitchhiker in my very first post on this blog. As I explain in the About section on, getting cancer was the major catalyst for me getting off my duff and starting this blog and the website.

As it says on the site, "If she does in fact become a survivor, Haunt Jaunts will have played an ENORMOUS part in her recovery."

Well, after enduring three months of chemo followed by a month of radiation, I'm truly in remission. (I was told on May 19 I was in remission, but I knew I also still had radiation to do didn't quite feel "real.")

But now that I'm done with radiation, and therefore my cancer treatment regimen overall, it does feel like I'm truly in remission. And that I can celebrate that fact.


Yes, it's been six months of feeling haunted, at times feeling like a ghost of my old self or even wanting to give up the ghost during the worst of my chemo days, but...

It's over.

Tomorrow morning I do not have to worry about getting to any cancer appointments. No more living in three-week chemo cycles. No more daily radiation appointments. I'm free to

Except, I'm not the same. I think the sentiment I ended with in one of my Facebook notes when I found out I was in remission bears repeating here:


I can't be mad that my hitchhiker decided to latch on to me for while. I know my initial reaction was to be upset, many wonderful things have come out of this cancer. I've renewed friendships, made new ones, strengthened others. I know what it's like to be loved. Heck, I even got down to my goal weight and my cracked heals are cracked no more! (However, the oncologist said that's a normal, but usually temporary good side effect, of chemo. Drat!)

Still, my hitchhiker ended up taking me places I never would have seen otherwise, refreshed my spirit and invigorated my hope and enthusiasm. So...farewell little buddy. You caused me a lot of grief and pain there for a while, but I guess you had to in order to get my attention. You've restored me in ways I didn't even know I needed restoring in. I'm a better person because of having spent this time with you.

Amen! And rest in peace, my hitchhiker. Your days of haunting me are over!

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