Today at 10:30 am, my mamma and I walked into the oncology ward of our local hospital for her fourteenth, and last, chemotherapy session. To say there was mixed emotions would be an understatement! We walked in excited and anxious at the same time. We have been counting down to todays session since August, eagerly looking to the finish line. January 8th, 2015, was a date that was constantly brought up in conversations with mum and I; it was our ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. I used it to encourage her to hang in there, to see her treatment through to the end, as well as using it as a reminder that she didn’t have long to go and the end was near. And it finally rolled around today. About freaking time.
The last few months have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride; highs and lows, twists and turns. While mum still needs to complete her radiotherapy treatment, the chemotherapy part of her treatment is over and I, for one, am glad to see the back of it. I have been mums carer since this all started so I’ve been with her to every session and have been home with her the most. I’ve seen the side effects, the trauma and the pain that chemotherapy brings. I’ve seen it rip her body apart while trying to cure it of a disease that is merciless. The chemotherapy journey has been an eye opener and it’s been a game changer. It has tested me, and in some ways, changed me. It’s a journey that I would not have chosen for my mamma or my family, but one we had to go on for reasons still unknown. I know that God has a plan for everything, so I’m confident something will come of this. Having said that, if we were given a choice, I’m sure we would have said, “thanks, but no thanks!”.
But today, as I sat with mum, watching her sleep through her treatment, I found that I was too keyed up and emotional. I was excited and impatient because I just wanted it over already. I couldn’t even eat, and that’s saying something! I wanted to just grab mum and run out the door (I can’t even imagine how she was feeling today!). So I decided to go into complete shut down mode and just numbed my head with a book and the occasional game of Candy Crush. I wasn’t too surpised by this though because I have been emotional the last couple of days just thinking about today. There were times when today felt like forever away and I just wanted to crumble to the ground and cry, “it’s all too hard!”, but I didn’t because I knew this day would come, so I held it together. But today, sitting in the ward, watching the nurses do their thing, watching other patients deal with their treatment, listening to the conversations happening around me, the emotions threatened to overtake me and all I kept thinking was, I don’t ever want to see this place again. Ever. In a million, trillion years. I kept glancing at my watch to see how long we had left before we could walk out of there. But eventually, we were ready to go. When our nurse Charles came and started unhooking her to release her, I couldn’t keep the smile off my face and I looked at him and said, “I hope we don’t ever have to see you guys ever again. In the nicest possible way of course.” He smiled and nodded and let us hug him goodbye. We thanked him for all he did over the last few months, and we walked out the door. Neither one of us looked back, we just walked through the corridor smiling. As we walked out of the Cancer Therapy Centre, mum looked over at me and said, “I don’t ever want to see that place again.” and at that moment, my heart was ready to explode. We stopped, hugged, took a picture and started giggling as we walked on.
Right at this moment, my heart is too full to put everything I’m feeling into words. That blog will come at a later date. All I can say is I am thankful that God carried us through, I’m grateful for the amazing nurses and I’m blessed beyond words at the amazing people in my life that have stood with me and my family during this time. And I pray that I never have to go to that place again.