This post is brought to you by Walgreens and SheKnows Media. The opinions and text are all mine.
My dad and I have always been close. I am his only child and even though my parents divorced when I was young I always spent a lot of time with my dad. From basketball games, to cheerleading, to teaching me to drive, and buying me my first cell phone (shout out Nokia phones). So in February of 2012 I was driving over to my best friend’s house and I can tell you the exact intersection I was at when my phone rang. Hillcrest and Lovers Lane in Dallas. It was my dad. I picked it up thinking it was weird for him to be calling midday when he’s usually at work, but when he’s not busy he checks in on me.
“I have cancer.” Just like that my world stopped. I pulled over into the nearest parking lot and listened as he told me he had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. He would be undergoing chemo very soon. I was leaving town the next day to attend a blogging conference and said I wouldn’t go. He encouraged me to go since no decisions or plans were happening for at least a week. I went and was met with so much love and support.
Fast forward six months. August of 2012 my dad’s chemo was NOT working. He was on a much harder round of chemo that gave him really intense migraines and made him very sick. He was brought into the hospital on a Sunday and stayed for several weeks. When he was in the hospital he had a surgery due to an infection in his eye and lost most of the sight in his left eye as a result. As an avid golfer, he worried he would never play again. The one hobby he enjoys most. He got sicker and sicker and we were told to prepare for the worst. He was not strong enough to undergo a stem cell transplant which he desperately needed.
He went home and had in-home healthcare for a while and then he gradually regained some strength. In January of 2013 my dad was strong enough for a stem cell transplant. The process was hard on him and our family but he persevered and taught me more about strength, dignity, and perseverance than I will ever be able to explain. When you feel like the world is stacked against you just push forward.
Now in early 2018 my dad is in complete remission. Something our family never thought would happen. He got to walk me down the aisle, be at the hospital when his first grandson was born, help us move into our first home, and more. He started playing golf again, returned to work, and lives a life he loves. I love how strong my dad is and seeing him go through this firsthand was so hard. I was at the hospital every single day. I would arrive at 7 AM and stay until 10 at night most days. I worked from a chair in his hospital room and ate a lot of hospital food. But here we are 6 years later. We are closer as father and daughter and my dad is stronger than ever. Every year when he goes in for tests of course we worry but thankfully so far so good.
When he was sick he needed A LOT of medication as you can imagine. I am so grateful there is a place like Walgreens cancer specialized specialty pharmacy and their services. It can be really stressful to worry about where and how you will get certain medicines. Something that’s great about Walgreens specialty pharmacy is they deliver the medication where you need it. So even if you are a few hours away from one you are still good to go! You will get the medication you need. Their customer service is incredible and they TRULY care about their patients. Their goal is for patients to focus on what matters. Not on trying to get medicine, if a pharmacy will have what you need, or how you will get to the pharmacy etc. There is a specialized trained staff that UNDERSTANDS what’s going on. You aren’t getting a generic person who doesn’t understand the needs of a cancer patient. There is also someone available 24/7 to talk to. If you know someone in need of services like this I really recommend looking into the Walgreens cancer support services. They are incredible. We are so blessed to have services like this.