Author's Preface I was always confident that my children would
remain reasonably healthy. They would never succumb to any
life-threatening illness-after all, I believed, I could never
survive anything like that, so therefore it would not happen. For
many years, I had worked as an ICU nurse, caring for people who
were critically ill. Always mindful and empathetic about their
mental and physical well-being, I had a healthy objectivity that
was necessary to deliver essential supports for healing. In April
of 2008, my twenty-five-year-old daughter, Deirdre, had been
teaching in Japan for a year. When she called me one night to say
that she had been diagnosed with acute leukemia, a life-threatening
disease, I went into total denial. After spending almost
twenty-four hours a day in Deirdre's hospital room, I came to know
firsthand the emotional, spiritual, and physical turmoil that
patients and families go through. As she and I went to battle
together to fight the disease. Deirdre took up arms of hope,
strength, and resolve; I took up arms of hope and faith. I was
eventually faced with a vital decision and a responsibility
concerning Deirdre's treatment. My previous "meant to be" and
"going with my intuition" philosophies were put to the ultimate
test. On the following year, in the summer of 2009, as I pondered
through ideas about a memorial for her, Deirdre slowly persuaded
and inspired me to write a book about our experiences throughout
her leukemia treatment: the chemotherapy, the invasive
investigations, our joyful and sorrowful moments, and our hope that
never wavered. Our story starts when Deirdre is living in Japan and
the diagnosis is suddenly made. It continues with her time in the
hospital in Halifax and the challenges of adjusting to life when
she is discharged home for a while. We want to share the story of
how we coped with terrifying events and how our love, hope, and
faith transcended doubt and despair. Deirdre displays her
incredible insight, courage, and strength as she deals with the
adversities that assail her during the illness. Throughout it all
her quirky sense of humour remains intact. As the story ends,
Deirdre conveys her message of everlasting love from a place so
close, yet seen and felt by few.
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