Week 6 of 6 Complete — ALL DONE!

Posted by Casey on April 30th, 2007


I can’t even believe it! My last day of radiation. Something that felt like years away just a few weeks ago has happened in what seems like minutes. And being tired, being scared, feeling anxious… it’s all brought me to today when I suddenly feel a bit of pride for this rather intense accomplishment. And it’s something I couldn’t have done without all of you supporting me.

The day started with us coming back from our fourth time in San Antonio… something that’s feeling rather normal lately. As always, it was great to see Jan & Jim, relax in the tub, eat amazing food, etc. And before that we were lucky enough to see more family — Kevin, Lucy, Meg, Dominic, Mary and Tessa. We even shopped in Tessa’s newly established candy store. Jill and I had decided to spend the weekend (most of it) in Austin. It was filled with good food and a few chances to listen to great live music, along with ample time for me to relax and pick up much-needed energy. I’m still struggling with that.

Once we made it to Houston this morning we went straight to the Proton Center. And as soon as we walked in the door there were some knots in my stomach. I thought immediately about how this was my last day. As much as that was reason to celebrate, it also made me sad. A lot of the day-to-day people here had become great friends over the past six weeks. Deborah at the front desk knew me from day one and never let me leave without wishing me a great afternoon and telling me how she was excited to see me the next day. Megan, Claudia and Carolyn, the technicians that ran my machine, were becoming friends. They shared great restaurants and entertainment to check out while I was here, they made it feel comfortable to be there everyday. I now had to say goodbye. I started swallowing back my wanting to tear up.

Jill and I went downstairs to the waiting area for about 20 minutes before I was called back. I was masked, locked to the table, and the machine started. I went through the usual routine, but thought the whole time about how this was the last. And when the machine was done, I just stared at the ceiling and felt a flood of emotions. But I knew I needed to go home. I smiled a bit.

Part of the tradition at the Proton Center is ringing a gong on your last day. The girls came in when treatment finished, excited to announce that it was complete. They released my mask and brought me out the the gong. I handed them my camera. We brought Jill back to watch. I rang the gong (see the picture). And the whole time I was fighting back crying until someone said “Congratulations… It’s been so great getting to know you.” And then I just starting bawling. The little crying kid in me took over, as it sometimes does. But it felt good. I hugged them all, thanked them for what they’d done for me over the last six weeks, and finally got to walk out the door with Jill.

We headed for lunch. We ran errands. And then we started a wonderful day together. Massages, followed by an amazing dinner at an incredible restaurant with the best sister in the world. And every once in a while it would pop into my head again about how hard it was going to be to leave. I’ve gotten used to it down here. Having loved ones with me, going through treatment, knowing that it was the only way to get better.

But I’ve gotten better. So it’s time to go home. And I can’t wait to see you all.

There’s a quote etched into the marble plaque in front of the fountain I saw everyday before radiation. I find it incredibly inspiring and thought I’d share it.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” — Henry David Thoreau


11 Responses to “Week 6 of 6 Complete — ALL DONE!”

  1. "Anonymous"


    You are always welcome to come back and relax and eat as much as you want. Jan and I always wish you could stay longer. And you are 100% correct about your sister, your loving parents and all your friends. Stay strong with that great attitude and we will continue to pray for you always.



  2. "Anonymous"


    Congratulations on finishing you treatments! I am so happy that you have gotten through it all and only wish you the absolute best on your continued healing. Hopefully since you will be back in MN, I will have an opportunity to meet you with Aaron sometime down the line. Congratulations and good luck on your happy healthy life.


  3. "Anonymous"

    “Hey Case! I’m so glad to hear you finished your last session of treatment! That’s awesome and I’m so glad to see things are going well. Hopefully you’ll be heading back up to the “”sota”" soon so I can see you and celebrate together in person. I just returned from Boston visiting Derek and he sends his “”well wishes”" and love also! Miss you!


  4. “Mr. Casey:

    This day happened because you willed it into existence the moment you answered this crisis with the resolve to do all what was necessary to beat it — all while facing unimaginably frightening consequences. Somebody once said courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important. So congratulations on this day and all the beautiful moments your life will continue to bring. :-)”

  5. "Anonymous"

    “Dear Casey -

    So glad to hear you made it home. Thank you and Jill for visiting us Sunday. Next time maybe you can stay a while longer – Cat and Tess were just starting to warm up. You are welcome here anytime – just give Tess some advance warning so she can restock the “”store”"!

    You are always in our thoughts and prayers and livingroom on “”Idol”" night.

    Love you – The Fureys”

  6. “Casey!! I’m so happy you’ve completed your treatments – you are so amazing and your strength is enviable.

    I miss you and want to see you when you’re back!

    Love, Ranya”

  7. "Anonymous"

    “Hi Casey,
    I am hoping your first night home was as exciting and relaxing as you were hoping it would be.
    I feel enriched by meeting and visiting with you on the plane. It goes to show that it doesn’t take long to make a friend and a real long time to forget one. Keep me posted as you feel up to it. I wish you nothing but the best for a healthy and happy future.
    Lorna Amb”

  8. "HAMPITY."


    you are awesome. i hope to see you – in mpls – soon.


  9. "Anonymous"

    “Hello Casey,
    Thank you for sharing this website with me. I was so glad to be able to read a bit of what your life has been like these last months. The photos are great too! I forgot that you were such a handsome man! (insert heavy MN accent on that last statement) Can’t wait to see you in just a few short days!

  10. "Kristen"

    “Casey–Only you could have made it through this journey…I am more than super excited to see you! I hope I hope I won’t have to wait in line too long : )

    See you soon!

    Love, Kristen”

  11. "Congrats on your big day out"

    “Congrats..I love you, keep on keeping on. Jen xoxoxoxoxoxo”