16 days to go.

Beads of Courage

Today- Thought I would do a bit of a number blog, since this is a countdown. Vega was diagnosed on the 31st January 2012 and started treatment the following day. Her beads of Courage have helped a lot with compiling this list, but some numbers are approximate. I couldn’t bear to count each and every white bead so I averaged it based on the weeks of treatment. I am going for the shock factor here- I have not counted “feeling happy days” or holidays or such, but needless to say, there definitely were those.

Vega now has 1632 beads. Over the last two years she has collected beads for chemo, port access, investigations, acts of courage, hair loss… well anything. You name it, there is a bead for it.

1632 Beads

Here are some numbers-

114 weeks, or 798 days on treatment, not including the 16 days left on our countdown.

86 nights in hospital. Believe me or not, I think that is pretty good actually, considering the length of treatment.

Approx 750 individual doses of chemo. Yep, huge number. And I think I rounded that up towards the bottom end. These have been made up from 7 different type of chemotherapy drugs.

131 days of Steroids. We have 5 more before the end of treatment. 131 days of total misery.

Approx 300 blood tests. Vega has weekly blood tests but we have had countless weeks when she used to have more than two. Huge amount of lab work.

21 blood transfusions.

29 X-rays, 1 CT scan, 1 ECHO cardiogram, 1 Linogram, 8 Utrasounds.

19 Lumbar Punctures, 3 Bone Marrow tests, 1 Port insertion. 22 General Anesthetics.

114 consecutive weeks on Antibiotics (weekend only).

As far as my documentation for this goes, this is my 113th blog posts. Over the last two years my blog has received 20 547 views and I have had 382 comments of encouragement, hope, love and prayers.

I have no numbers for the buckets of salt water I have shed over this. No documentation for how many sick bowls Vega has filled, how often I have ordered repeat prescriptions, how many sleepless nights we have had, or how much pain was endured.

I am under no illusion about this countdown. We will not suddenly end up in fairyland come the 29th of May. Considering the history above it is understandable that this treatment will have a legacy that goes beyond weeks and beads. There is no guarantee Vega will be cured after this. There will always be a chance for it to come back. I think one has to make peace with that thought- if that is possible. But regardless of the future, this part is coming to an end. And right now it feels so very satisfying to see that.


7 thoughts on “16 days to go.

  1. ok…eyes dried and nose blown. Nothing to say, but we love you guys and we have everything crossed for a fairy tale ending. You all bloody well deserve one. x x x x


  2. always read your posts, Kathi, and sending you lots of love and strength for the countdown. what you’ve written over this time really puts everything in perspective xxx


  3. I am really hoping that there is a fairytale ending, too. You’ve all endured so much. Vega’s strength amazes me as does yours. Goodness knows, you all deserve that fairytale ending.


  4. I am shocked at the amount of treatment that amazing and brave Vega has gone through and thrilled that the end is just around the corner, we are counting down with you, x x x


  5. amazing picture of her beads – may the next phase bring some peace and respite from steroid horrors! I know that you have felt every bead with her and prayers, hugs and all things good that there will be some relief as this milestone is reached.
    you are always in my heart.

    love sue xxxxxx


  6. Thank you for sharing this. My daughter has had bone cancer twice, so different numbers for each thing but equally a ridiculous number of beads, and tears, so I totally understand where you are coming from. End of treatment is no fairy tale ending but it is a good place to be, and because us cancer parents have learnt the true value of every moment, you will make your own fairy tales happen. I wish you and Vega and all your family a good EOT and many happy fairy tales from there on ☺xxx


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