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Meet Trillium...

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Happy Spring! It is April and testicular cancer is being highlighted with member Trillium who walked along side her son during his testicular cancer diagnosis and treatment

I have been a caregiver for my adult children as they coped with their father dying of brain cancer in 2017. In February of 2020 my 40 yr old son, who has a brain disability, was diagnosed with stage 3 testicular cancer. During the first wave of Covid-19 he went through surgery which is known as a radical orchiectomy or removal of one testicle. He did require my support during this time and after surgery with his chemotherapy as well. We are thankful to the cancer clinic where he received all of his treatment for allowing me to accompany him for his treatment. During my time in the cancer clinic, I made sure that I was following all of the protocols to ensure that I would not get Covid and take it into the cancer centre. I also supported those needed a little help but were not able to have a family member or friend with them. My role was organizer for my son to ensure that all went smoothly for him with his medications and appointment times as well as supporting him at my home and then support him to return to his apartment when he was able to. We are also thankful for the caring support of his treatment team that support him with his disability.

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My son worked very hard to follow all of the medical help provided for him and he is currently NED. His Oncologist shook his hand and said, “Congratulations you are now cancer free. Good work!” I rejoiced with tears of joy because up until then we did not really know what the outcome would be. We had a lot of fear of the treatments, but they were not near as bad as we had imagined.

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Having cancer was difficult for him as you can imagine but I think he handled this better than I would have if it were me. He was determined to fight this disease and he did and luckily for him he won. I’m so proud of him and our relationship has become stronger because of cancer. We both have learned once again to appreciate life by enjoying the simple things. The simple things in life really are what truly matter for our wellbeing and happiness. Halfway through his treatment while waiting for his oncologist to come, he was pacing the room then walked down the hallway to a board on the wall and wrote something with the marker. He wrote Body, Mind and Spirit. Those words were still there on his last day of chemotherapy, so I took a photo for him. It is not just the body that needs healing and care.

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Making art in some form or another has been what brings me joy in life. Painting flowers has been my new art therapy during my son's treatment and at the worst of times it is what helped me get through by being a healthy distraction that kept me from staying with my dark thoughts. I also spend time art journaling and gardening.


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My supporters were my family and the many people I met including therapists through programs and support groups for caregivers. I am grateful to Cancer Connections for being with me from the very beginning to today. I am honoured to have met the many wonderful people who have come for support and information along with me and hope that I can give back somehow for all that I have received from being here.

Thank you Tillium to you and your son for sharing. It was hard to choose between all your lbeautiful paintings, so I hope you can share more in Creation Nation soon..




Comments

Trillium
Thank you for sharing your story. You are a great mom. So happy to read your son is NED.
Beautiful artwork - My favourite is the pink flowers one. It temps me to pick up a brush!
Wishing you both continued good health.
  • Posted Wed 21 Apr 2021 08:28 PM EDT
Thank you so much for your wonderful thoughts and being here with us, Boby1511‍ . I hope you do pick up a brush! If you read in Creation Nations there is a paint pouring thread which is a fun way to paint too.

Wishing you good health and peace with all you are going through, Boby1511.

Big hugs for you
Trillium
  • Posted Wed 21 Apr 2021 09:42 PM EDT
Trillium‍ They say a picture says 1000 words - your’s say that and more! Thank you for sharing the journey with us and your photos. It reminds me often to never underestimate the power of the human spirit. We are stronger than we know and with an amazing mom like you, your son shone!

Your art is wonderful. Maybe we should have a virtual art gallery night on this community - so many talented people. Art that speaks so much.

You are so right about the simple things in life and the journey including more than the physical one.

I am grateful that you shared your story. Thank you. Kim
  • Posted Sat 17 Apr 2021 10:35 AM EDT
Oh Kims1961‍ - I love reading your words! They speak a right to my heart.

Great Idea about a gallery day here. We could have a whole art festival with music and great food trucks!

If we can convince WestCoastSailor‍ to find a way!

Thank you for being such a great neighbour Kims!

Hugs
Trillium
  • Posted Sun 18 Apr 2021 03:58 PM EDT
law
Hi Trillium
I was so intrigued reading your "Meet Trillium" post....It's dated April 3rd----so I guess I am woefully late in navigating!!
Your story of cancer in your family makes my head spin to know you are a rock of strength and you ROCK!!
I sure hope your son remains cancer-free and you are able to relax during this pandemic.
law
  • Posted Fri 16 Apr 2021 09:50 PM EDT
@law Thank you for your encouragement and support!

I hope he continues to be cancer free too.

I think I may be relaxing too much these past few days.


So glad you are my neighbour!
  • Posted Sat 17 Apr 2021 12:10 AM EDT
Congratulations to both of you ! Such beautiful art journal too to help you through this I can relate to this expression.
How wonderfully strong and sensitive you have been for your son . Despite the tragic grief of his dad to brain cancer .
Not only help him understand it all as an adult . But lend a hand to others humbly .Being alongside him in each phase to bring him back home to your place too , to heal from after treatments. Of a delicate area of the male anatomy ,the testicles being carcinogenic.must of been difficult as his mother. Although you did it together to be cured -and celebrate this victory . Now time to pamper yourself in some relief and respite ! And some chocolate 🍫 with wine massage and feet up spa time away .
  • Posted Fri 16 Apr 2021 11:29 AM EDT
Thank you for your kind words elle29‍ . Yes it was difficult for us to deal with it being testicular cancer because I’m a woman so don’t have the experience to be able to relate on that level and his dad would have given him support that I could not, but we did the best we could and made it through.

I like your suggestions of taking time to relax and reward myself. I don’t drink but love spa services! Last year my daughter sent me a facial gift certificate that I look forward to using when covid is over!

Hope you have a relaxing weekend!
  • Posted Fri 16 Apr 2021 06:10 PM EDT
Trillium
wow-what an amazing story, and such a happy ending!

thank you for sharing how cancer has touched your family not once, but now twice.

you state your son handled things better than you would have, I'm sure you're wrong....your love and support during their dads illness, surely made him the man he is today!

and thank you for being so informative about a cancer that honestly I know little about--I learned something and appreciate the teaching.

nothing truer, than realizing the simple things are the BIG things
hope you and your family have a great easter weekend

cheers/hugs
su
#caregiver #supermom
  • Posted Sat 03 Apr 2021 01:43 PM EDT
Thank you supersu‍ ! Yes it is so good to be able to be happy with simple things. It also feels good to have a happy ending. I wish it could be that way for everyone...
  • Posted Sun 04 Apr 2021 01:57 AM EDT

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