Friday, January 3, 2014

Bags packed with letters attached
A few days after Christmas, there was a post on the Facebook page for Abby's project of a little girl named Delaney. She had received a purple bag at one of her treatments for brain cancer. There was a picture of her with her bag, and she was smiling. When her mom showed her the picture, Abby asked about little kids having chemo. Indeed, even little kids who have cancer have chemo. In her logical brain, Abby was able to formulate the idea to deliver bags to kids who are getting chemo. 
So, while bags have already been delivered to kids at Children's hospitals in other locations, I decided to put bags together and deliver them to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego on New Year's day. 
Contents of bags for kids
While many of the items are the same for these bags (tissues, chapstick, fuzzy socks), I wanted there to be specific items for kids too. I went in search of coloring books, crayons, super balls, puzzles, and dum dum lolly pops, plus fruit snacks, kids toothbrushes, and slinky's. 
A beautiful cloudless New Year's Day
Upon arriving at the hospital, I noticed how beautiful all the buildings were. It was a gorgeous, cloudless day, blue-sky day. As I entered the lobby, I was stopped at the check in desk and was told that unless I was visiting a family member, I was not allowed upstairs because of flu season and security reasons. While I was initially disappointed, I also completely understand. There happened to be a nurse behind the desk and as she read the letter attached to the bags, she smiled and said she would personally deliver the bags upstairs to the kids. YAY!!!! 

Nurses Marti and Teri on the day of my last treatment
Nurse Larisa on my last day of treatment

December 17, 2013 was my last chemo treatment. It was a highly anticipated day, and one that was as ordinary as any other. Proudly, I kept my emotions in check, while inwardly I was shouting from the rooftops!! That same week I met with my surgeon, Dr. Elizabeth Revesz and my medical oncologist, Dr. Michael Kosmo. They both confirmed that I am CANCER FREE! My two new favorite words.  Of course, I am cautiously optimistic. I still have to do radiation. And, I will still be getting herception until August/September of this year. AND-the best news of all: I can return to work. 

There is no way I could ever express my appreciation for every single medical professional I have met over the last 9 months. Each of these people have been more than compassionate, professional, informative, entertaining, sweet, humble, honest, and attentive. And, it is certain more medical personnel will come and go in my life over the next few months and they too will be amazing. I have been extremely fortunate in that regard. 

While those magic words have uplifted my spirits, there is no doubt that much strength will be required to get through the next few months. And, there is a new normal to be lived. Nothing will ever be the same again. Nothing. And while there was darkness at times, the toughest I have experienced, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am drawn to that light and will continue to move forward. CANCER FREE. 

No comments:

Post a Comment