Update #5 (September 19, 2019)

The end of the first round of treatment has come. Linda finished 10 days of radiation on Wednesday of this week and is very thankful that it is over.

Last week Friday Linda’s Dad (Roland) and Dan’s Uncle Lloyd were able to take Linda over for her treatment. Uncle Lloyd kept them laughing all the way with stories.

After Memorial Meeting on Sunday the Wiltons took Linda’s parents to Bridal Veil Falls on Manitoulin. This is a real favourite spot on the island throughout the whole year, but Linda’s parents had never seen it in the summer (when the waterfall is most inviting for a swim!).

On Monday morning of this week Linda, Karly & I headed over from the Island to Sudbury to stay at a hotel overnight. Linda had 5 different doctor’s appointments on Monday and Tuesday and the travel back to the Island would have been too much for her. That doesn’t even include all the phone calls she has with nurses and care workers each day. Being sick is a full time job!

The side effects from the radiation left Linda not feeling well enough to head home Tuesday afternoon, but thankfully the hotel was able to move rooms around for us to stay another night. It was a very nice hotel right across the street from the cancer centre in Sudbury. The hotel is full most nights with people coming and going to the hospital, and the receptionist told us they also try to leave a room or two empty for the family of patients that arrive in the middle of the night by helicopter.

There was a lovely boardwalk around a lake across the street from the hotel and cancer centre so we had a walk every day when Linda was feeling up for it.

We are very blessed to live in a country that does provide such excellent medical treatment, nonetheless the trips to Sudbury have been very exhausting on Linda and the side effects of the radiation are taking their toll. Although the swelling in her neck and face has subsided from what it was at the beginning of radiation, Linda has developed sores inside her mouth, on her tongue and a throat so sore it is hard to swallow, drink or eat.

The doctors have prescribed pain medication that helps, but not enough to make eating easy. We have been finding all sorts of ways to get nutrients into her (smoothies, soups, coconut water, juices). Thankfully there was a Booster Juice close to the hospital! Hopefully the sores will start to subside as the radiation wears off, but the doctors have warned it could be another few weeks. Another side effect of the radiation is that Linda is a lot more tired. It is hard on her, being a person that hardly ever rested or napped before getting sick.

Linda and family have really enjoyed opening all the cards that have continued to arrive. The outpouring of love from people around the world was even noticed by the post office lady!

This is the last weekend Dan & Linda’s family will have with Linda’s parents before they head back to Australia. Roland has been very busy doing lots of jobs around Dan & Linda’s house and chopping firewood for the long Manitoulin winter ahead. The family has been enjoying many of Linda’s childhood meals as her mom (Janelle) has helped with the cooking.

On Monday Linda’s parents will head back down to Southern Ontario to get ready to fly home, while Dan & Linda will head to Sudbury to meet with their new medical oncologist and discuss the next steps.

Being with Dan & Linda through this trial is incredible. Anyone who knows Dan & Linda knows them for their consistency with the daily Bible readings, thoughtfulness of others and care for their boys and although life is very difficult right now, none of those things have changed.

– Hadassah Styles

 

“The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants:
and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.”
Psalm 34:22