September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

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I was the person that wasn’t THAT person. I had two perfect children and life was a bit rough, but do able. I had it all under control, until that day where you see the four children gathering together for strawberry picking. It was a horrific day. But you can read about that here.

What I want to focus on is the fact that I was never THAT parent. And I never planned to be. We all take for granted the fact that our children are supposed to be healthy and ready to meet the world. Their personalities are formed and it is a beautiful thing.

Many will stop reading here. It is a scary place to go. But 2 years and 3 months ago, I was you. Idyllic in my life and parenting. Ever so on the mark with milestones. Growing into potty training and leap frog phonics. I was on course to produce baby smarty pants. They were going to be ahead of the curve and so smart.

Then one day, all that changed. When I saw the picture of the tumor invading my son’s brain space. I said, no wonder he was so clingy. He wanted comfort. No wonder he was so needy, he was hurting. No wonder he seemed to be degrading physically. It was a low moment for me. I could never make up for any of it. No matter what I did.

The next 36 hours were spent awake. Laying in a sleeping child’s bed, with my arms around him. And, His father on the other side. Both of us totally unaware of time. Just trying to say as many goodbyes and prayers as we could while he was still here. Making promises to help him live life to the fullest. We promised the world to this three-year old lying sleeping, with our hands falling over his skin, kissing our favorite spots. Memorizing our favorite details of his body, and the curvature of his face. We knew the next morning he would be wheeled away to surgery. It was a massive surgery with a higher than average chance of death. We knew that.

My mind went from having a child that possibly had cerebral palsy to a child with a brain tumor, just like we had thought. The thought of cancer hadn’t even been discussed at that point.

The 36 hours before surgery were excruciating. Jimmy, Luke, Steve, and I kept present and mostly awake. It was full of discussions of faith and where we stood at that exact moment. I have to say, those were some of the most in-depth discussions I have ever had in my life. My heart was raw and exposed.

Then, he was wheeled away. I had cried my last tear, kissed his head the last time. I had felt the contour or his nose and neck the last time. I had memorized his fingers the last time. I had said goodbye. I knew there was a chance i would never see my child alive again.

Regular people just don’t know what we go through. They try. They help where they can. I just think its something you don’t understand until it happens to you.

And, it might. Here are some of the hard facts. In 2014, 15,780 children were diagnosed with cancer. It is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 18. Our children are more than a stastic. Only 4% of the National Cancer Research Fund for Cancer Research budged per year is alloted to studying childhood cancer. Adult research and trials get the other 96%.

Are you disturbed by this? Can you look at your child and think he or she is worth more than 4%?

Enough for now, Faith


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