Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Last Day of Radiation

Today was the last day of radiation therapy for Jackson. 28 treatments complete. I can't believe how fast it seemed to go by.

Today marks the half way point in Jackson's treatment protocol. Three steps down and three to go.
  • Chemo- Round 1
  • Chemo- Round 2
  • Radiation
--------Here we are!----------------

  • Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant- Round 1
  • Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant- Round 2
  • Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant- Round 3
  • then...Hopefully Cancer Free!

At the cancer centers they have bells hanging on the wall. When treatment is complete, the patient gets to ring the bell. Every time I have seen someone ring the bell at Primary Children's I cry. Every. Single. Time. That bell is the sound of victory to me.

Jackson got to ring the bell today at radiation. And of course, I cried.

I couldn't contain my tears. It wasn't that ugly type of cry that I have done so often, but more of a slow leaking tear sort of cry. You know, the kind where you have to keep sniffling, and tears come quickly like a drippy faucet? Yep, that kind of cry.

I had so many emotions today as Jackson rang that bell. I was proud of Jackson, proud that he did it, and proud that he could do it with out sedation. I was proud that not one time did he ever complain. I had happy emotions, and sad emotions. I am sure going to miss those people at radiation. They really were amazing. They were kind to my kids- and anytime someone loves my kids, I can't help but love that person. They made radiation fun for Jackson, and they would race with him around the office. They brought prizes for Jackson, and cheered for him all along the way. We really felt like radiation was home, and now we are leaving some of our friends- and that made me sad today.

Some of my tears came from joy, and some from fear. We are half way through Jackson's protocol, and I keep wondering how it's going. Will he really be "cancer free" at the end of this road? I also have fear of the unknown... we still don't know what lies ahead of us in the next several months. We don't know how he will react to the new chemo drugs- there are still many hurdles to conquer.

As we walked out to the car today, I was still crying. I gave Brian a hug, and he too was teary eyed. He whispered to me that "we're making it through this". I can't believe how hard this has all been. Cancer is something I never wanted to deal with, especially for one of my children, but we are making it through, and I am learning so much about patience and the Lord's timing.


  1. There's something magical about Jackson. He touches hearts everywhere he goes. They were so kind to him at radiation because they're good people, of course, but I think also because of the effect he has on the heart of anyone he meets. Your boy has a way of taking something horrible like cancer and using it to improve the lives of everyone he knows (and many people he doesn't). The smiles he inspired there at radiation every day...THAT is the miracle of Jackson.

  2. Congratulations Pender family on Jackson completing radiation and being halfway through treatment. You should be proud of Jackson AND yourselves. Thank you for being my friend and for being so kind to Annabelle. We love you guys and can't wait to see Jackson ring the bell at ICS!

  3. I am so happy for you guys! He is such a brave kid to do that without sedation. I had an MRI last week and was freaked out, but guess who I thought about to get me through...yup Jackson. He is such a strong kid, stronger than I will ever be. Tell Jackson hi from me and Skyler!

  4. Congrats Jackson and Family ... You guys are awesome marathon runners and the hurdles don't even seem to slow you down. Keep going, you can make it the race is almost over.

  5. WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!! Love you guys SOOO much!! I look up to you so much Connie!!! and JackJack too:D all of you are so amazing!! THankyou for sharing your journey with us!!!:D


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