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Daffodil Garden

for Cancer Survivors

Krista Alford

Krista Alford

In 2017 I was diagnosed with stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. At the time I was the mother of a 12-year-old daughter and I had a big fear of needles. I initially made the decision to not take the treatment because I was very scared of the unknown. My hematologist was quick to get me a PICC line and, after many thoughts of my daughter growing up without me, I began the journey. 

In total, I had six treatments of R-CHOP chemo — they were long, but not what I expected. This journey was so different than I imagined.

Journey

For the most part people were amazing, except for one person who attended a fundraiser to tell people I was faking, and had shaved my head to play the part. That hurt. I was fighting for my life; I had lost my job, and my husband had a reduced income to take time off to look after myself and our daughter. Things were tough. The stress of that put me in the hospital for a week with a very low white blood count. I couldn’t have chemo that week. The duty doctors told my family at that point that I might not make it through.

My daughter was a youth dart player with dreams of going to England to play her game. I told her that night that if I didn’t make it to follow her dream and make it to England and play on that big stage. She instead told me that we would go together. After she left, I spent the night thinking that I had to be here for her. When I woke up the next day, my white blood count had a large jump and I was on the mend. My treatments resumed, and I was back on track.

There were days that I didn’t feel like I could do it, but I never gave up. I thought positive thoughts throughout it all and I trusted the hospital staff. 

Cancer-free

After my sixth treatment I had a PET scan and was given the news: I was cancer free! The day came that I got to ring that bell. I was very emotional at that moment. I was overjoyed not just that I had survived alive, but now I had a new family of friends we created at the hospital during that journey. To me, they were all kind of like The Littlest Hobo: they were there to help me when needed, and moved on to help others in need. The hospital staff went over and above their jobs to make my 5 months with them a very positive experience. I can’t thank them enough.

As for my daughter? The following year she qualified to go to England. As she had said I would during my treatments, I went with her. We all went as a family. I was so proud of her for representing Canada on the world stage, and I was proud of myself for having the change of heart to take the treatment. It wasn’t bad at all, and here I am today: five years later, living a normal life again. 

The Daffodil Garden for Cancer Survivors is a great place for my family to stop and reflect on all we went through, and there sometimes we meet with and speak to others who are just beginning their journey.

Stay positive!

Survivor Stories

Molly Dorn

Molly Dorn

We continue to visit the Daffodil Garden for Cancer Survivors to celebrate Molly’s journey to being a very young survivor.

Maria MacDonald

Maria MacDonald

The Daffodil Garden for Cancer Survivors gave me hope, inspiration, a feeling of not being alone, and support and love.

Ann Vessey

Ann Vessey

Each spring we are reminded of our good fortune and the promise those beautiful yellow blooms provide when they peek above the ground.

Becky Phillips

Becky Phillips

It feels amazing to be a part of something that brings so many people together and creates a community of support and love.