First day at the Cross

After finding our way from the parkade to the registration desk and being issued the red and white Cross Cancer Institute ID card that I’m supposed to show each time I enter the facility, we started our first day there with a new patient orientation session. In my mind’s eye, I had visualized us sitting in a classroom with several other brand new shocked and bewildered patients listening to someone give us an overview of how things work at the Cross. Instead, the two of us sat on a comfy couch in a cozy corner of the patient library and chatted with a volunteer, a colon cancer survivor who was treatedย at the Cross about 15 years ago. He shared a little of his own experience, told us about the services and resources that are available to patients and their families, gave us excellent suggestions about dealing with the practical and emotional challenges of living with cancer and encouraged us to take an active role in my care.

Of all the many volunteers who perform this service, God sent us Gar! About mid way through his presentation, while telling us about the psychosocial and spiritual resources that are available, he made this comment, “People have many different ways of dealing with cancer but I just put mine in the hands of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!” I replied with a resounding “Amen!” Gar was one of us and God had put him right where we needed him when we needed him there.

Following our chat, Gar took us on a tour of the facility making sure that he clearly pointed out the various places that I’d need to return to later. By the time we hugged and said good-bye, we felt much more at ease.

After a quick bite to eat, it was time for our first visit to the Nuclear Medicine department where I received my mIBG injection. This was the first of two injections of radioactive drugs that will aid in determining the extent to which my cancer has spread. Tomorrow, I’ll return for a full body scan, which will involve lying perfectly still for up to an hour, followed by the injection of the second drug.

A visit to the lab, where blood was taken, brought today’s appointments to an end. Over the four weeks since this journey started, I’ve been poked numerous times including three tries to get an IV started the day I had my colonoscopy. I must say that the gals at the Cross have been the gentlest so far. I hardly felt the two needles that entered my arms today!

Before we left the Cross this afternoon, we visited the gift shop where we stocked up on used books for $1.00 apiece and then headed out into the sunshine to find the geocache that’s hidden on the hospital property! It was placed there in April 2010 by a young geocacher who wanted to honour his twin sister, a breast cancer patient at the Cross.

I was pretty tired this afternoon, probably just a response to the emotional overload of getting this far, but after resting a bit and enjoying the first meal our youngest son has ever cooked for us, I’m recharged and ready to go back again tomorrow.


20 thoughts on “First day at the Cross

  1. I have tears in my eyes as I read this Elaine. Your honesty and openness is so genuine, the road you are about to walk down is going to be bumpy. I know you will walk it with dignity, bravery, faith and with a wonderful man holding your hand, just like he holds you hand when you walk around Sedgewick. That’s the picture I will keep in my mind, the two of you walking and holding hands ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. It is good to know that God has everything under control, hope your next days go well. In our prayers always, think of you many times a day. Good for Nathan!

  3. Watching your progress and thinking of you and rich. I can just see you doing the geocache there. Am hoping along with everyone else that things go smoothly no matter the outcome tho I hope for a good outcome.

  4. It sounds like an amazing experience despite the pain and the unknown. Gar was sent to you for a purpose and I love it. Thank you for continuing to share your life and your story!

    • God has promised to take care of me throughout this journey and I really believe that Gar was his way of reminding us of that! Isn’t it amazing how he works? ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. The first day is always the hardest but everyone there is so wonderful. They will help you on your journey. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Richard. If you can have company, will stop in when I’m in the city. God will be your guide down this path as he was for me. Chin up, you are a strong lady Elaine. My grandmother always said, God won’t put you through more than you can’t handle so he thinks you are a very strong cookie!!!

    • I’m only at the Cross for tests right now and am pretty tied up while I’m there so a visit probably wouldn’t work but I’ll keep you posted. If I end up hospitalized for awhile, I know that visits will be very much appreciated.

  6. My brother in law and cousin are also having treatments at the cross, the people who work there are truly sensitive and caring. God truly is in control and you are being covered with prayer.

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