The "Aid Station" is a very important aspect in a Marathon and in any race there are generally a number of them along the 26.2 mile course. Some of the "aid stations" provide water, some provide food for extra fuel, and some stations are equipped with First Aid in case there are any physical issues a runner might experience throughout the course. Without these "Aid Stations" one would never be able to finish the race, it is a component that runners have come to rely on in order to finish strong and with the best possible outcome.
Yesterday John made his first pit stop at the "Aid Station" that he will rely on for the next 3 months...the BC Cancer Centre is where all the "magic" will take place and where John will receive the care he needs to beat this awful disease we call CANCER!!
I arrived at the Centre at almost the same moment as John and his sister Margot and I took the elevator up to the chemotherapy ward with them. As soon as we walked in John was directed to the room where he would receive his treatment....it was a sunny room with several oversized reclining chairs that seemed comfortable enough for the likes of someone as tall as John. There was already another patient in the room receiving his treatment, and an elderly woman who sat reading quietly by his side. The nurse that greeted us was upbeat and friendly and had a very positive demeanour...so far it was shaping out to be a pretty good start. The best part about "aid stations" are the people who run them...they are generally the kind of people that are there to encourage you and assist you in any way they can. This was the kind of nurse John was fortunate enough to have.
The 6th floor of the Cancer Centre is where John's chemotherapy takes place and it will serve as an important "aid station" for John throughout his "race".
There are 2 different drugs that John has been prescribed by his oncologist and it is suited specifically to fight the type of cancer he has. He will be receiving these chemo drugs intravenously throughout the course of his treatment...with each appointment taking just a little over an hour from beginning to end...It's amazing when you think about it...what an hour of time can do....like help save a person's life!
Today John will return to receive his second dosage and tomorrow he will receive his third and final dosage for what will complete one cycle of his treatment. John will require 4 cycles of chemotherapy that will span over the next 12 weeks. Three weeks separates each cycle to give the drugs time to do its job, but also time for John to regain close to normal "blood levels" before beginning chemo all over again. In addition, John will also begin his radiation treatment tomorrow. This will run every day for 6 1/2 weeks... taking weekends off to give John's body a chance to recover.
We know there are several side effects that comes with chemotherapy, John has been given the long list of things that he "could" or "might" or "should expect" to experience... but this will all be taken in stride. John was anxious to start treatment, but he is also relieved that this phase is finally beginning. There is an end goal in sight that we have never taken our eyes off... so having to endure what could, might or should happen during this phase is all par for the course...John is ready for what is to come....and if you know him well...you know he is capable of getting through anything!!