We have jumped around on the last couple posts going from the time around the benefit dinner and stepping back into January to quickly cover Brianna’s eighth birthday. One thing that I failed to mention about her birthday was that the main radiation techs that worked with her over her 30 treatments, Genevie, Jason, and Brandon, surprised her with a gift. They all chipped in and bought her a pillow pet to add to her collection. They were very good with Bri during her treatments and I thank them all for that. Brianna really bonded with Brandon and he was so good with her. Brandon was the lone tech who had a small child of his own and he showed so much compassion for her. He would get down on his knees and talk to her and hug her. It made me very emotional to see him show her love and compassion. He made her feel special and that was special to me. I pray God blesses all of them but I pray special blessings be bestowed on this young man and his family.
Now we are going to do somewhat of a fast forward to February 15th, 2011. Our radiation journey should have ended on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. but there was a day that the snow and ice closed the IU Simon Cancer Center and they canceled our appointment. So, the 15th was Bri’s final day. We went in that morning and we took cookies to the techs. Brandon had been moved to a different area but he made a special trip back to the unit to tell Bri goodbye. There was also a gentleman named Robert who had been taking treatments during the final couple of weeks that Bri was finishing up. When Brianna’s treatment was complete we stopped at the waiting room to pick up our coats and bags that we left there when we went in to help Bri out. Robert was there waiting to have his treatment and he stopped us to let us know that his prayers would continue for Bri and he had bought her a gift. My emotions ran wild again. I can not explain but when there is an act of kindness towards her it melts me.
During the treatment period Thursdays was the day that we would have to see the radiation doctor in charge of Bri. Dr. McDonald was the same doctor who initially talked to us while we were in Riley in December at time of diagnosis. His assistant was Dr. Chang and we would see him as well when Dr. McDonald was not available. Nurse Bob was usually the one who would check us in each week and take Bri’s vital signs. He would always joke with Bri and try to get her to call Dr. McDonald Ronald. I told Bri to call Dr. Chang P.F. but she would not do it. Dr. McDonald had been touched by Brianna over the six weeks of radiation and he did the final exam of her on this day. Once he was done he removed a gift from a bag that he had brought into the room with him. It was a pink shirt and as he unfolded it he explained that he had had it made for her. He turned the shirt around and silkscreened on the front of the shirt were the words “Brianna and the Big Boom Boom”. As he stood to see us out he wished us luck and gave Brianna a hug. We left the room and made a quick stop at the nurses station and Bri told them goodbye. Our next stop was the bell.
The bell hangs on a wall in the hallway by the reception area where you pass it twice a day, when you make your way to the treatment area and when you leave to go home. It is a small brass bell with a plaque that has a short poem about the treatment being done and the course is run and now I am on my way. We had been looking at that bell for six weeks dreaming about hearing it ring from Brianna’s hand. February 15th was her day. Tears filled our eyes as she rang the bell. Some of the staff had stepped outside to watch Bri ring it and they cheered as she did. It marked the end of a six week nightmare for Brianna but it was far from over.