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As I entered my 7th year of the Ride to Conquer Cancer it meant more to me than I have ever wanted it to. For my 7th year I rode with a picture of my Dad on my handlebars.
Now, nearly 2 years after my Dad's diagnosis, I prepare for my 8th ride...
At the end of August 2015 my Dad went to the doctor for what he thought was a sinus infection. Then came the tests, and the biopsy...and the diagnosis, Non Hodgkin Lymphoma. The prognosis was good. My Dad was a healthy, fit,and positive person... He would beat this! He couldn't wait to start the Chemo treatments. He was ready to fight!
He had his first Chemo treatment on September 22nd and the second treatment on the 23rd. He felt good and the lump on his neck had shrunk 50% in size... It was working.
I made my plans to go home for Thanksgiving to visit and be there with my family during this trying time. Shortly before I came my Dad was taken to the hospital because he was having trouble breathing. He told them "you can keep me here all week but I need to go home for the weekend because my daughter is coming". He was adamant. On thanksgiving weekend I spent time by my Dad's bedside in the hospital while he received oxygen through a tube in his nose. We had a good visit. I left on Thanksgiving Monday... Later that day he was put on a ventilator.
My sister flew home from Dubai on October 14th. He came off the ventilator for a few days during that time and they had a chance to visit. He wanted so badly to just go home. To just get out of the bed. To even look out the window. He couldn't. The ventilator went back in. On October 17th he turned 66... He didn't even know.
My Dad had a rare reaction to the Chemo. He had developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). His lungs weren't expanding. They were shutting down. On October 25th I got that chilling phone call... "You need to come home". I flew home the next morning.
My Dad was transported by air ambulance to the Kelowna Hospital and we followed. They had specialists. There was hope.
For 11 days we went to the hospital hoping the doctor would have good news. No changes. During that last week we were told that not seeing any improvement was the same as getting worse. We were told that at the end of the week if there were no changes we would have to make "THE" decision. Every day that week we went in. Every day - "no changes". Friday came. No Changes.
On Friday November 6th 2015 we said goodbye to my Dad. A little over 2 months earlier he was a happy, healthy, active father, husband, friend, and inspiration to many. The world lost an amazing Man that day. I lost an amazing father.
A rare reaction to the treatment that was said to be the "best option". In 2 treatments the tumours shrunk by 80%. He would have survived the cancer.
We need to find a better "best option"
Over my first 6 rides I rode for George, Auntie Shirley, Uncle Larry, Roberta, and for everyone who has ever had cancer.
My 7th year was more personal than I ever imagined it could be. I was riding for my DAD. And this year and every year to come, I will be riding for my Dad.
This year I'm asking you to either join me or sponsor me in support of my Ride to Conquer - let's find a better option.
Thank you in advance for your support
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