A Face Of Hope 

This is Brandin… A face of hope to all at the Durban Oncology Centre.. After 46 weeks of Chemotherapy & surgery, he’s officially Cancer Free!!!

Brandin is the perfect example to highlight the heartbreaking reality that cancer does not discriminate… it knows no age, gender or colour. On moms very first chemo, it was Brandin she drew the most inspiration from, they spoke for ages about his journey thus far… it broke her heart to know this guy has been receiving treatment from March last year, to her “he’s too young to have to go through this” but she looked forward to seeing him every week. 

After 46 weeks, a party was definitely in order… 

Nurse Wendy and Dr Reddy with Brandin

The nurses of Durban Oncology

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” Mahatma Gandhi

#chemogirl

Five posts down and I’ve just realised that I have not told you anything about mom’s treatment as yet… Apologies, I shall rectify that now.

If you’ve read the post entitled “How it all began”, you will know that mom is currently undergoing treatment at the Durban Oncology Centre.. And I’m thrilled to say that this past Friday, we officially hit the half way mark. 6 down and 6 to go!!! 

When you walk through the doors of the Durban Oncology Centre, you are greeted by some of the friendliest personalities at reception. There’s this sense of familiarity …and definitely a sense of importance.

Our next stop… The Lancet Laboratories. It is standard practice that before every chemo treatment, a blood count needs to be done. Basically to see if your body is capable of handling the treatment. Now if you know my mom, you’ll know that she hates needles nor can see stomach the sight of blood. Thank goodness for sister Anne… Every week this petite blonde does an amazing job of distracting my mom whilst taking her blood. Whether it’s making us laugh with her her pretty awesome sense of humor or telling us about herself – suffice to say, every week we look foward to our interactions with sister Anne… well minus the needle of course.

The Chemo Suite …. Have you ever been on the inside of a Chemotherapy suite?  One would think this is a place filled with dread, doom and gloom…after all they are asking you to lay down whilst they fill you up with toxic drugs that are meant to make you feel anything but a million dollars… but believe it or not, this is the place where my mom smiles the most.                                 A room filled with reclining chairs, the warmest/ softest blankets (I imagine this is what a polar bear must feel like) and three of the funniest and welcoming nurses, Wendy, Angel and Sumeshnie. Whilst you are a patient here, you aren’t treated like you have this so called dread disease … You’re treated like a member of the family. It is in this room that you meet people from all walks of life, hear the most laughter and come to realisation that you’re not alone… there is someone going through the same thing you are, be it as a patient or a caregiver.

Over the last six weeks, we’ve met some amazing individuals, who we have gathered inspiration from as well as learnt so much from. I’m certain the next 6 weeks will be just as eventful.

Knowing that she has just hit the half way mark…I can’t help but look at how far we’ve come and I can’t help but smile at the sense of pride I feel. You see my mom went into this, questioning and doubting how she would manage every step of the way. She would have this tendency to think 50 steps ahead, and assume the worst. But I guess that’s normal…Cancer is usually deemed the worst case scenario to most. 

She didn’t think she could handle Chemotherapy, but she’s just completed her 6th treatment which means she has been handling it! She couldn’t bare the thought of her hair falling, guess what – she’s handling that too! Whilst it’s most certainly has not been sunshine and rainbows for her in these last few weeks, she’s courageously taken all that’s thrown at her in her stride…. and I have nothing but admiration for her.