A Woman's Voice


SOLACE — April 26, 2010 by Shirley Sarafinchan

Posted in A WOMAN'S VOICE by doloresayotte on April 26, 2010
Tags: , , , , , ,

A WOMAN’S VOICE – My Sister’s Voice 

I dedicate “Solace” to all women who have been diagnosed with cancer and to those fortunate enough to have escaped this disease. 

It is ten years since I was diagnosed with breast cancer and today I would like to share a wonderful experience I had while receiving my chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  

I awaken with a feeling of doom, today is my first chemotherapy treatment and even though I’ve been educated on what to expect I’m afraid!  I go about my normal routine of getting ready for work but it is not a work day.  I shower and dress and remember not to use lotions that have a strong scent and no hair spray or perfume, I dress casually.  This will be the first of six treatments.  We arrive at the Cross Cancer Clinic and I check in with my new Cancer Clinic ID card.  The receptionist hands me a pink paper with instructions to go directly to the lab for my blood test.  I look around the waiting room and see other patients and family members and I try to relax.  It’s a quiet place with no hurrying or scurrying, just calm. 

My lab tests are in and I wait patiently to see my Oncologist.  My treatment will begin as scheduled, my blood count is okay.  I’m directed to Unit 1 and instructed to sit in a lounge chair.  A nurse comes to see me and informs me the lab technician will be with me shortly.  I’m told I will receive the FAC chemotherapy, a large bottle of red liquid and another of clear liquid.  I will also receive a drug called “Zophran” a steroid to help minimize the nausea. I sit calmly holding my breath as the technician inserts the IV needle into a vein in my right hand but the vein collapses so she must try again.  The second attempt works and the drip begins.  I’m told this procedure will take approximately three to four hours.  A kidney basin and box of Kleenex are placed on a small table beside me, just in case. 

My hair has been cut short and I’m wearing a skull cap to keep my head warm, it is December 22nd, 1999. 

My appointment was 8:00 AM and now over five hours later my first chemo is behind me and I’m heading home. I have two steroid prescriptions I will need to ease the nausea for the next few days.  As planned I will sleep in the bedroom located off of our family room and close to the washroom.  The bedroom is the darkest room in the house and also very quiet and I’m feeling very sleepy. 

My body is numb and my head aches so I draw the blankets over my head and I try to sleep, my stomach is churning and I pray……… 

My wonderful experience begins that day as I huddle under the blankets and continues throughout my chemotherapy and radiation treatments and I call it “Solace”.

I was alone on the days following my treatments and I recall how quiet it was.  No music, TV, phone ringing or computer humming just quiet…. If I wasn’t in bed I was curled up on the couch in the living room.  It was during this time I listened to “God” and slowly day by day my fears turned to trust and hope and then to “Solace”.  How beautiful to have this special time alone with “God” who loves us and gathers us into his arms to comfort and reassure us.  It wasn’t easy, some days were pretty difficult but the gift of “solace” carried me through not only my chemotherapy but also my twenty-five radiation treatments, severe radiation burns and my recovery over the next two years.

I find “solace” in my life today and when things are difficult I remember “God’s” gentle touch as his arms enfold me and I feel safe…………

We are never alone.  He is always close by…. We just have to open our arms to receive his embrace…………

Thank-you Shirley!

Shirley is married to Ken and lives in Edmonton, Alberta.  She is employed full time by Building Products of Canada Corp.  as an Executive Administrative Assistant/HR Cooridinator.  She enjoys her blended family of four children and several grandchildren.   

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Guest Writer – Monday, May 3, 2010 Louise Gauthier — MY MUSINGS

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4 Responses to 'SOLACE — April 26, 2010 by Shirley Sarafinchan'

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  1. Laurette Godard said,

    Wonderful story. Continued good luck to you.

  2. Lorraine Gauthier said,

    Your article was just beautiful Shirley! You really put into perspective how lemons can be turned into lemonade.I know that your walk was not easy and that God strengthened you to become the person you are today! I am very proud to have you as my sister!! God Bless! Love,Lorraine

  3. Andrea Cockerill said,

    What a beautiful story, and it is a reminder to me that God is always present!


    • Much thanks to all of you for your comments and your support. All the articles written by my guest bloggers are very inspirational. I appreciate you for taking the time to write your stories and share them with all of us!


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