Her Beaded Journey

She walked past the oncology sign not noticing the direction the arrow was pointing and not realizing it was the very same direction they were headed.   She walked past several kids who had no hair, she looked at them and they looked back at her as if they knew the news she was about to receive.  They too had been ‘her’ at one point.   She was told to wait and have a seat, with her legs not quite touching the floor she swung them back and forth not quite understanding what was about to unfold.

When she heard the diagnosis, she couldn’t fully understand what he was saying to her.   She heard the words come out of the Dr’s mouth but how was it possible he was talking about her.  What he was describing had to be a mistake; it had to be about someone else, right?  She had a rare form of Osteosarcoma in her right leg and cancer spots in both of her lungs. She had cancer!

With tears streaming down her cheeks, she struggled with understanding what it all meant.  As the Dr. described her treatment strategy that would begin right away; she kept thinking to herself, ‘why me, why did this happen to me, my life is ruined’.

To help shrink the tumor in her leg, she started chemotherapy right away.  3 months later the surgeons gave her a full knee replacement and cut out part of her tibia.   During the surgery, they removed the primary tumor in her leg as well as part of her tibia.  The Tibia was removed and radiated at the Cross Cancer Institute for 30 minutes and put back into her leg.  She had 3 weeks of healing time and chemo had to start back up again as she was scheduled for a double lung surgery to remove cancer from her lungs.

The care she received from the Stollery’s Dr’s and nurses was incredible and they gave her their very best.  It was her home away from home for a while and every milestone and success was their success as well.

Soon after her diagnosis the Stollery hospital provided beads to create a necklace.   The beads represent her journey and with every appointment, needle, x-ray, chemo treatment, surgery and success, she got to pick out a bead. Her favorite bead is the sparkly one.  This bead represents the news she received that the chemo was working and shrinking the spots in her lungs.  That news deserved a party and that is exactly what they did.

Photo and story by UNTOLD Contributor, Lorna Dancey.  LornaDanceyPhotography.com