Saturday, 23 May 2015

Saturday 23rd, May 2015 ... Chemo, birthdays & wonderful people

Sometimes unexpected things come from the most difficult circumstance, this week for me it was the joy of being surrounded by incredible, passionate, kind and compassionate people that made all the difference. I was lucky enough to catch up with loving friends and share brief conversations and the kindness of strangers. People really are wonderful.

We are just back from the last infusion (3 of 3) in this round of Brendan's Chemotherapy. They say practice makes perfect and this one went as well as it could have possibly gone. 

When we were waiting in the day therapy lounge to go in to get Brendan's infusion started; a beautiful young woman came toward us smiling. All the usual signs showed us immediately that she was here for treatment too. A pretty scarf wrapped around her head which accentuated her beautiful face, a port in her chest, eyes that shone with the wisdom of a journey that was all to familiar to my family, a smile and attitude that lit up the room and the same quiet grace I see in my husband every day.

She walked toward us and before sitting in the seats in front of us she said "are you from Old Bar?" Brendan had his #teambrendanm shirt on and that is how she recognised him. She went on to say that she had seen his story on facebook and this gave us all the opportunity to have a great chat. 
To protect her privacy I will not share her name; but due to the fact that she and Brendan share the same doctor, the same cancer and the most surprising of all ... we live in very close proximity to each other, we have promised to stay in touch. I feel like we have made a lovely new friend.

Day therapy went as well as it could and by 5:30 pm Bren was in a room upstairs resting, it was good to see him settled but he was exhausted, over the next couple of days exhaustion and a general feeling of not being well were the main side effects. Rest was what he needed the most and he was able to get some between regular around the clock obs and getting rid of the litres of fluid they were pumping through him to rescue the chemo drug. 

The other side effect for Brendan; of being in bed for 4 days straight is that constipation becomes a clingy friend, after taking medication to send it packing he found himself on the loo right when one of his nurses was wanting to take his bloods. She came in and I let her know where he was, oh she said I'll come back. About 60 seconds later she was back and not happy that he was still in there, she said "come on Brendan you have to have your bloods done or it will delay you getting home." There was a slight pause and my slightly exasperated husband replied through the closed door "Yes, well what would you like me to do?" She decided to come back later. There was a little more to the story but you get the general idea.

That night one of my dearest friends; Vick and her beautiful daughter Brittney come over to take me out for an amazing pre-birthday dinner. Vick drove two hours to come and spend time with me ...that is just who she is and I love her very much. We talked, laughed and ate to our hearts content and I was very spoilt... I feel blessed to have such loving friends.

I also feel blessed by the wonderful nurses and exceptional doctors Brendan has had looking after him throughout his illness, and although they are strangers; for the time you spend with them, most of them treat you with a caring kindness, professionalism and a familiarity that instils you with confidence in their ability to make your loved one well. We both love Dr Bhadri; Brendan's oncologist... for all of his awesomeness. But on Brendan's last stay and this one, we met two beautiful young doctors who I found really easy to get along with. They were both very professional, but also full of fun and energy. On finding out on Thursday that my birthday was coming up, when they came into Brendan's room on Friday they both said a big excited Happy Birthday in unison when they saw me, and made it seem as if they were as excited to get us out of hospital that day... as we were to be going. It really was quite lovely.

Dr Gorgia, who was in charge, gave us the thumbs up with a huge smile by about 10:30 am on Friday morning, letting us know she was sending Brendan home. She proudly said "I'm not even going to make you wait and see Dr Bhadri; I've just sent him a txt and said I'm sending Maloney home." It makes me smile retelling it. 

We were packed and on the road for home by 12:30 pm. It was a wild, wet and windy trip. We pulled into our driveway to find three smiling faces standing there to greet me with birthday wishes, and I got huge hugs and kisses from Tyz and Bades. The best present ever. Margaret had decorated the house with balloons and a big birthday banner, had dinner cooked and made sure that the kids had flowers and chocolates for me. It was a wonderful welcome home.

Twelve months ago this is not the way I imagined that I would spend my 50th Birthday; but we were home with our kids and it was a day full of love, happiness and family...and that is pretty much all I need. 

P:S I was also spoilt with cake, more flowers, gifts and too many birthday wishes to count, from my family and friends… and that was really lovely too.

Thank you to everyone for making my birthday such a special day.

For more information on Sarcoma Cancer follow this link: sarcoma

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