My Final Chemo Session: The Graduation Day I Thought Would Never Come

My Final Chemo Session: The Graduation Day I Thought Would Never Come
A Lump in the Road column My nephew graduated from dental school this month. He walked across the stage holding his 2-year-old, and suddenly the little boy I used to know was all grown up and had become a dentist. As I paged through photos, my mind wandered back to my latest graduation, one that happened nearly three years ago: my last day of chemo. No one played "Pomp and Circumstance," that iconoclastic graduation piece we all know by heart, but that’s not the music I wanted to hear anyway. I wanted to hear nurses singing me out the door. I wanted to see medical providers waving me goodbye. Shortly after my cancer treatment began, I walked to a gathering of moms huddled in the parking lot at school. We had just dropped our kids off at various classrooms. It was cold that morning, and I wore a wool knit hat with my coat. The moms glanced at me, and I saw the looks on their faces when they noticed my changed appearance. Suddenly, I felt awkward. Usually I took the time to hide my disease. I wore a wig that sort of matched my hair, and I applied makeup more carefully than I had since high school. But that morning, I left the house worn out, and my cancer made its debut with others. I guess I didn't realize how bad I looked. “Oh, um,” I said, aghast at their expressions. “Sorry. I guess I’m sporting the chemo look today.” My hat covered my thinning hair,
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.