So this downright boggles my mind, friends. Children are the future, eh? Not judging by these figures!
What people often fail to realize is that there is no “trickle down” effect when developing drugs for adults, assuming that kids will benefit. We cannot continue to keep treating our children as just little adults. They are different! They are developing! But it’s not even just that!
In almost every instance, the types of cancers that develop in children are different from those that develop in adults. Childhood cancers are often the result of DNA changes in cells that take place very early in life, sometimes even before birth. Unlike many cancers in adults, childhood cancers are not strongly linked to lifestyle or environmental risk factors.
WE MUST do better for our children. WE MUST develop new medications that are safer and less toxic while we beat down every door looking for the cure.
I promise I will fight for exactly this. Will you? Because on August 14, 2013, I wasn’t a cancer parent either…
A few days ago, I shared a statistic about ALL being the most common type of pediatric cancer. I shared about how I was made aware about childhood cancer before it came beating down our door. I want to tell you all how grateful I am to YOU for sharing your own stories and am humbled by how many of you stay with us here to learn and to share.
Continue reading “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – Day 4”
I became (truly) aware of childhood cancer on August 15, 2013 when my baby, my beautiful Kate Olivia was diagnosed with high-risk pre-b acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of 2 years, 2 months and 10 days old.
I have to say that I “knew” of childhood cancer before that…my sister’s friend had a daughter that had battled cancer before (and had been re-diagnosed just days before Kate.) I’m sick over the fact that my reaction was something to the effect of “oh no, how sad” and “I’ll pray for them.”
I had no idea what the family had been through. I had no idea what we were about to face.
BUT. I would come to learn the harsh, painful realities of the woefully underfunded research, the treatment effects and just how devastating and wide-spread this disease REALLY was. Rare? No. No, absolutley not.
So tell us. When did YOU become aware? Will you spread the word and help others learn the truth, too?
#katescause #untilchildhoodcancerisextinct #notrare #gogold #morethan4#childhoodcancerawarenessmonth
Today is September 1st and the first day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I know that for many bereaved parents (those in treatment too) struggle with this month. Screaming, shouting, turning everything in our lives as gold as we can possibly make them…we feel frustrated at the lack of movement. The lack of awareness.
Continue reading “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – Day 1”
The post below is from Facebook one year ago today. I read it this morning after (again) waking up far too early with these beautiful children on my mind. Mine included. But ironically, Kylie too.
It is once again the eve before Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and I could think of nothing better to write than what I’ve already said. So here it is again.
With love to all of the families I’ve “met” on this journey since this post was made. There are far, far too many and my heart is with you all.
Continue reading “Kate & Kylie”
This day…and the excruciatingly sharp memories of it from four years ago is no longer the worst day of my life. But, it is the reason and the cause and the blame for what happened that would lead us down the path to what would come. Because of this day, I now KNOW pain. I now KNOW heartache. I now KNOW loss of a magnitude that cannot be understood unless experienced.
This day four years ago, cancer came calling. Cancer invaded our sweet, quiet, happy lives and would forever claim its divide between “then” and “now.” I will never (ever) understand why cancer invades our most precious and innocent of lives. Why our CHILDREN are diagnosed at an alarming rate. And why (oh, God, why) people turn their heads and call it rare. The second thing I will do when it’s my time in heaven, after a long and joyful reunion with my beautiful girl, will be to ask God himself. Why?
But through it all, the pain and the memories of this day and every day in the four years that followed, I want to say something out loud here and proper to my daughter that I don’t think I’ve ever said to her before.
Kate, I want to say thank you. For showing me the most pure, beautiful form of love imaginable. Thank you for showing me kindness of the most loving form. For letting me experience pure joy through your eyes – learning to delight in what appeared the smallest of things. Thank you for showing me bravery unmatched, courage and a heart of gold.
But above all, thank you for letting me be your mommy. For letting me be your comfort. For letting me be your “person” in the darkest, scariest times of your life. I want to say thank you for letting me be your refuge, your lap and your shoulder to calm the storm. You might never know how difficult it was to watch you struggle, though I imagine now you do. Amazingly enough, my darling girl, those hardest of days would become ones I will cherish the most because you trusted me. You needed me. You loved me.
And that, my sweet Kate, is my life’s greatest gift.
Your sing-songy voice and the word “doing” taking a full whole note to say. You’d hold Lovey on your left shoulder; your elbow up in the air, flopping your bare feet on the floor as you walked toward me. This always meant you were bored and wondered “what next?”
Continue reading “Musings on “May Have Been””
Good morning, sunshine. I woke early today. Lots on my mind, I guess. Not terribly surprising that I woke at 5:55 after having woken at 4:44. (Thank you for those awesome little visits, by the way.)
Did you know…Daddy and I bought this house 8 years ago today?? We had such plans for how to fill these walls with sound. Love, life and sound.
Continue reading “Our Home”
My heart has felt so heavy lately. It’s almost hard to differentiate anymore because it ALWAYS feels heavy. But lately, it’s this pulling and tugging from recent events and news and stories shared among the childhood cancer community that is coupled with my own difficulties wrapping my brain around the fact that our own story was rapidly unraveling this very moment 18 months ago…I just didn’t know it yet. 18 months ago this very day, I felt fairly confident that I would be walking back into the fight with my family – hand in hand into the fire. But if you asked me 18 months ago this very moment if I thought that Kate might die, I would’ve laughed at you. MY girl? No. 18 months ago I was about to be proven oh so very, very wrong. Continue reading “Promises”