"The size of the storm proves the strength of the shelter."
This past Friday was my Dad's final chemotherapy session, the end to his first step of beating cancer. My Dad is a huge inspiration to me in so many ways and I have never been more proud of him!
His first session was back in January and our whole family went with him. He willingly drove himself to PMH in Toronto, walked through the front doors and signed himself in. He showed no signs of fear and no negative thoughts, he was taking this head on and with the strongest mindset. While we waited, I couldn't help but feel some anxiety creep in. Lots of things were going through my mind at the time and they were starting to get to me. The silence of the hospital and the cold January light that filled the hallway didn't help. This is when we met Katy. Katy's story is unbelievable, and her attitude and incredible outlook on life, while also battling cancer, were so extremely real and down to earth, it was hard to stop our conversation! Talking with her quickly changed the mood of the scene, and my sister and I felt at ease. We chatted with her until we had to go and she graciously allowed me to take a photo of her. I'm so very happy we had the chance to meet this lovely lady!
Each session afterwards came with it's side effects, but my Dad maintained his same strong minded composure with some help from my Mom and his meditation. His last session was this past Friday and we were definitely all there with him. Much like before he went in with his positive, ready-to-go attitude. We were excited for him of course, and since this was his last session it meant he would be able to ring "The Bravery Bell" once he was finished. We each spent time with him while he was hooked up to the IV but he was making good time, and before we knew it he was done. The machine began beeping while the simple word "COMPLETE" flashed on the screen. This is when it hit me, he was finally finished his long stretch of chemotherapy, his first step at beating cancer was complete and he would soon be taking his next step, but for today it was finally time for him to ring the Bravery Bell. With smiles all around and the nurses cheering in the background, we watched him ring the bell and throw a much deserved power fist into the air!
I am confident that my Dad will be just as strong with whatever this next step throws at him, and he will always be my biggest hero!
Below are various photos from my Dad's first and last chemotherapy appointments at Princess Margaret Hospital.