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  • Writer's pictureKristen

Radiation Vacation

I am a firm believer that if you market things correctly, even tasks that are normally unpleasant or mundane can be a little bit of fun, just ask Matt or the kids about the "laundry parties" that we have at our house. Turn on some music, gather a few family members, and suddenly tackling a bed that's covered in clean laundry that needs to be folded and put away becomes fun (OK... maybe fun is stretching it, but you get the idea).

After getting an invite from Tyler and Amanda to bring the kids (and our dog!) to stay at their place in St. Thomas for the first week of Matt's treatment, we decided to ease into these six weeks away from home with a mini family vacation. Matt and I went down on Monday night with Lola so that we would be ready to head to an 8:40 appointment the next morning at Victoria Hospital. The 25 minute drive from Tyler's house was way better than trying to get on the road by 5:30 on Tuesday morning. The first radiation treatment was quick and the follow up appointment with the surgeon also went well. He was pleased with the healing of the incision, the post surgery scans, and Matt's quick recovery.

Matt Fitzsimmons' first day of radiation
Matt tried to keep people updated via Instagram

We had made arrangements with a friend to drive the kids down to meet us on Tuesday afternoon, as we knew that the kids would be unimpressed with a long morning of appointments on the first day, so we headed to Chapters to meet them after lunch. We spent quite a while browsing, which proved to make things more challenging when I couldn't find the car keys when we wanted to leave. After 30 minutes of retracing our steps, I found them between stacks of books on a table and we headed to a park with a splash pad for the rest of the afternoon.

We spent the evening at Tyler and Amanda's where the kids LOVED their golden retriever, an 85 lb lap dog named Jax, and the Android box that was hooked up to the largest tv they had ever seen. Of the hundreds of channels that were available, the Gilligan's Island channel and the Tom & Jerry channel were the most popular with our kids. Their tastes are always so interesting!

Wednesday was a bit overcast so after a quick morning treatment we did some shopping with the kids. They loved Heroes Comics and came away with a few new treasures. That night after supper we asked our hosts for a recommendation for an ice cream place and we weren't disappointed by Shaw's Ice Cream near Port Stanley. We spent the rest of the evening at a playground trying not to get too sticky and burning off some energy. Matt's treatment was a little later on Thursday, so we had a lazy morning, then went to Story Book Gardens in the afternoon and saw Ant Man and the Wasp that night.

Friday morning we packed everything up, said our thank yous and goodbyes, then headed into London for the last treatment of the week. We dropped Matt off at the hospital, grabbed some treats from Starbucks, then spent some time hiking and exploring at a conservation area that was just a few minutes away.

Matt called to let us know he was done and I giggled as Matt strutted/danced out the doors to meet us. That's 4 treatments done (with few side effects so far) and 26 more to go. Life's too short not to have fun, so I'm calling it our "radiation vacation". Who knows how the 5 day "chemo parties" will go this fall, but so far, radiation doesn't seem to be so bad.

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Aug 13, 2018

Brilliant! Great photos. When someone with a gnarly surfer accent asks, "Did you have a rad vacation?", you can beam.


Denise Buttenaar
Denise Buttenaar
Aug 12, 2018

A true "When life gives you lemons" post.

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