Monday, 11 August 2014

GUEST BLOG: The Toughest Kid I Know Goes To Clinic (by Aunt Jodie)

I will never, ever forget January 4, 2014.  It was a rare Saturday night at home.  I was just getting over the cold of the century and had decided to stay in, read, and watch the Leafs (I’m sure they won ;)).  Lindsay texted to say that she was at the hospital with Hayden (again), who hadn’t been feeling well for a few weeks. The texts suddenly stopped at about 11PM and I didn’t hear from anyone until 1:30AM when my mom called with the news….Hayden was being admitted with what they thought was leukemia.

Leukemia is a scary word – just as awful as the more common term “cancer”.  I can remember laying in bed that night worrying about my beautiful, sweet, precocious girl.  I remember wanting to time-travel my way to London to be with my sister, and I won’t ever forget the sound of my mom’s voice that night (who would have done just about anything to get to London despite a blinding snow storm in Mount Forest).  

I remember watching the clock until I could meet my mom the next morning and head to London.  I remember walking into the hospital for the first time.  And more importantly, I remember walking into the hospital room and seeing my sweet girl playing in the hospital bed with the biggest smile on her puffy face (the meds and IV were already starting to do their thing).
Hanging out with Elmo - Sunday, January 5, 2014
Fast forward….it’s now been seven months since her diagnosis and while it feels like time has dragged, it has also flown by.  We’ve seen seven months of progress….seven months of incredible care from the doctors and nurses at London Health Sciences Centre - Children's Hospital….seven months of friends and family who continue to amaze and inspire us with their love and unconditional support.  
Here are just SOME of the awesome people I'm talking about! 
We’ve seen good days and bad, highs and lows.  And throughout, we’ve seen the beautiful smile on Hayden’s face as she hugs her Ted, laughs at “Hayden movies” or dances along with Ellen.  Hayden is already in phase four of her treatment and her continued zest for life amazes and impresses me daily. 

I try to get to London to see them at least once a month (every three weeks if possible).  During my second last trip there, I took lots of pictures (okay – I always take lots of pictures) and thinking that many of you may wonder what "clinic" is like for Hayden, I asked Lindsay if I could guest blog for all of you.  After asking me “what’s a guest blog?” (haha - sorry, that made ME laugh!), she agreed. 

So, here you go – A Day in Life of Hayden at Clinic. :) 

It always starts with the standard measurements – height, weight and blood pressure….at this stage in the game, Hayden knows exactly what to do and gets on each without even being asked.  (Of course, Ted gets to go along for the ride).

And then, it’s Ted’s turn….gotta check the blood pressure before Hayden gets hers done! ;) 

After all of the standard vitals are checked, they attach the portacath, which is how she receives her chemo, blood, platelets and IV.  It makes things so much easier (she doesn't have to get her arms poked every time she's there) - however, the nurses in those outfits is kind of frightening if you ask me!  (She, of course, takes it like champ!).

And then…we wait.  And wait.  And wait....

 Lots of visits by doctors (and yes, Hayden knows the drill by now!)….

And then it’s off to her room for chemo (thank goodness for iPads and Bubble Guppies!).

And always time for some love from mom. Xo

PS - This is one of the walls in the London Health Sciences Centre on the 6th floor where Hayden always ends up makes me smile and gives me hope every single time I walk by it. xoxo

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing Jodie, have been following this journey since the beginning and it gives good insight to see what goes on day to day. I love seeing Hayden's smiles. She is the bravest little person I know.