Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Treatment Complete

Looking back, it is unbelievable what Liam has gone through in the last 9 months. When we started this journey, we had no idea what we were in for, and had no idea how Liam would do. And here we are, amazed at how well Liam has done. Not without hiccups along the way, of course, but he is doing so great.

Liam is still quite tired, so he gets really grumpy in the afternoon and goes to bed early. But, he still gets up at 6:00am, and won't nap during the way. Apparently it will take a few weeks before the radiation stops affecting his energy.

We made our last trip to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre for Liam's last radiation treatment yesterday (Jan 29). When Liam started radiation, I dreaded going there, but I didn't know how wonderful the people would be. Liam made quite a name for himself by doing the radiation without anesthetic, when we walked down the hall, almost everyone would say hi. The radiation team on "Unit 10" were amazing. Every day at Liam's appointment time, they would bring Felix the frog out to get Liam, then we'd all have a race to get to the room, this part was pretty brilliant, there was never any delay! Then Liam, "baby teddy", Felix the frog and Felix Jr would all give high fives to each other. We would take Liam's shirt off, get him up onto the bed, he'd get teddy, then promptly lay down. When in position, they would start the iPad with his show of choice, they put the mask on and clamp it down, move the bed up and over into position and he'd be ready to go! Obviously, because of the radiation no one would stay in the room, but once the iPad was playing, Liam didn't notice who was around.

After Liam's last treatment, he put the last sticker on his progress chart. Every day Liam got to pick a prize, by the end he was almost always getting Lego people, he has quite the collection now. The last day prize was a Lego Police car with 2 Lego men and a puzzle, he was very pleased. Then everyone went over to the ring the bell, everyone came along. Liam loved ringing the bell! Then he tied a gold ribbon for pediatric cancer on the wall.

As I've mentioned before, we have many follow up appointments and checkups, but this is the final stage of actual treatment. I must admit, it is hard to be really relieved until we know that treatment killed the beast and there is nothing there. Liam's MRI and lumbar puncture will be in about 4 weeks, this will let us know if there is any disease. Then he'll get an MRI every 3 months for 2 years. As much as we want to jump up and down with excitement, we are still living with so much fear of this horrible disease. When will we be able to jump up and down for joy, I'm not sure. In 2 years? In 5 years?

We are so proud of how well Liam has done, this kid is one serious warrior. The best part is now Liam can recover, get healthy and feel good again.


David Kaspar said...

He looks adorable. Very, very happy for him!

GoFlames said...

Really happy to read this post Karla, so encouraging and inspiring to read about the resilience of Liam. All the best as your journey moves forward.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Liam! Hope the rest of your treatment goes well.
My dad just rang the bell today at the Tom Baker after completing his chemo for Mantle Cell Cancer.
They didn't have a bell back when my daughter went through chemo/cranial radiation/a bone marrow transplant for childhood leukemia. It was a long haul, but she was a success story.

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