Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Beginning of the End...

Of the journey, that is...

On Thursday, I took Liz for her final chemo treatment.  It's hard to believe that she's been through 4 months of chemo treatments (six in total, one every three weeks) and this was the first one where I was able to take her.

Walking in brought back memories of the few visits with my mom, five years ago.  I remember being eight-and-a-half months pregnant with Aili at the time, and sitting in the lounge, waiting for her radiation treatments.  They were so difficult for her, since she couldn't lie down for very long without pain, and after 3 treatments, she refused to have any more.

We walked in and after having the required bloodwork done, we stopped in to a back room where two volunteers sat at sewing machines, creating all kinds of caps for chemo patients.  Liz asked if there were any more lightweight scarves to wear while exercising.  (If you don't know my sister, you'll soon realize that it's impossible to keep her still for long...)

Anyhow, so many great volunteers at this site - one of the women promised to bring something up to Liz before she left!!  And true to her word, she had one of the volunteers bring it up halfway through Liz's treatment!!  I didn't get a picture of it, but it's the cutest thing - wraps like a bandana, but ties at the back with a matching scrunchie!  I will have to get a picture of her in it.

We stopped in at the Image Enhancement room, which is what inspired Liz to host her fundraiser tea in March.  They had this funky Bernadette Peters-style wig that I made Liz try on:
Hazel, one of the volunteers (with the most adorable South African accent), was a good sport and joined in with another curly wig!

We made our way up to the waiting area, after she checked in.  Seated was a young woman who had obviously been going through chemo.  She and Liz recognized each other from prior visits and began chatting, trading chemo stories.  After a while, they got up and when her mom returned, we discovered that the young woman was only 26 and just diagnosed in February with leukemia.  She was in her final year of nursing and had to drop out to start treatment.  It was heartbreaking to hear her mom talk about it - I can't imagine.

Finally, Liz was called.  The nurse lead her into her hospital bed and proceded to hook up her IV to her port, surgically installed at the beginning of her treatments.

After a saline drip, they then administer Benedryl.  I don't know that I even asked why?  I do know that it makes the patients sleepy so maybe it's to make the time go by faster? :)

Then out comes the big guns:
Once the chemo started, I read quietly while Liz began her meditation, complete with ice mitts (to prevent nail discolouration and loss from the chemo drugs). 

She started meditating daily when first diagnosed, and I think it's a big reason that her treatments have gone relatively smoothly.  She is willing her body strong, and I'm positive that it's helping!

After meditating, she rested.  I snapped this photo of her with a hoodie sent to her by her daughter, Sarah, in England.

Never Give Up.  It's been our mantra throughout this journey.

Time went by relatively quickly and by 1pm, we were on our way out and headed to a celebratory lunch at Cora's and impromptu shopping trip at Michaels!  Nothing like food and shopping to make you feel better about your day!

So now, she heads into the next phase: radiation.  Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers - every little bit helps! 

And by the way, Cancer - you will NOT win this time around...


  1. my mom is such a trooper. i'm glad you were able to go with her and take photos of her last treatment.

  2. oh yeah...and blond is so not her colour.


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