2 Years Later… and still smiling

From a Dragonfly Mom about her young Dragonfly daughter “E.” This family and other Dragonflies attended a concert courtesy of The Matson Family Foundation.

Ria & Christine,

I have kept a Carepage for E since the beginning of her journey.  Yesterday she had scans and my update mentioned a memory of mine that was made possible by Dragonfly.  I copied it below, as I wanted to share it with you.  I hope that you both know what incredible women you are and how grateful I am that you started the organization.  I can’t count the number of times that TDF has brought our family together for fun when we needed it most or tell you how much the symbol of the Dragonfly has brought comfort to her and our family.  Thank you!


Carepages Update May 10, 2016:

As I said yesterday, I can’t believe that another three months have passed.  E has now reached her 18-month mark and she remains Cancer Free!  Dr. Geller said that her chest is clear and the only change is that her left kidney has grown larger to compensate for the absence of her right kidney.  She is growing like a weed, despite the chemotherapy treatments and the spot that was once on her left kidney doesn’t appear to be there at all anymore!

E was really good about fighting back the tears when she had her blood drawn.  It helped that her nurse was awesome and only made one poke.  It surprises me how much E has taken on without any fuss at all, yet now the smallest of pokes can cause her so much anxiety. It goes to show that after awhile, a person can only take so much pain.  And Lord knows, E has certainly had more than her fair share when it comes to pain.

For me, there is a routine now.  E scans and the emotions that I have leading up to them, have developed a pattern. After today’s clean bill of health, I will soar in relief for at least another month.  By month two, the worry will begin to cross my mind more frequently.  By month three, and especially in the weeks and days leading up to her next set of scans I will inevitably let the worries consume me.  I will trip on my own two feet until I hopefully hear Dr. Geller say that yet again, she is well.

But…today, today was great!  E’s face lit up when we stopped for our usual Starbucks treat on the way home and we squealed in celebration when we got in the car!  We shared a special moment together as we pulled into our neighborhood, our song, Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker came on the radio.

Thanks to The Dragonfly Foundation, we were able to see Darius Rucker with awesome seats while E was in treatment.  I’ll never forget watching her that night.  It was the perfect cool summer evening.  She stood on a chair in between Gordon and I.  A blue and white striped scarf covered her bald head and she smiled from ear to ear, as she swayed and clapped her hands to her favorite song.  That night was a light for us in a very dark time.  And now, every time that song plays, my thoughts are turned to that memory.

So the timing of the song coming on in the car today, I do not believe was a coincidence.  I watched in the mirror as E sang along, with her hand stretched out of the window, her fingers waving in the wind and I took in the moment. When we pulled into the garage the song was still on, so I turned it up as loud as I could, got out of the car, picked E up and with her arms and legs wrapped around me, we danced to the music.  Most days in life don’t have storybook kind of moments, but this was one of those for me.  I held her tight while she laid her head on my shoulder and although E couldn’t see me, tears rolled down my face.  Good tears.  Happy tears.  Oh how I know how lucky I am to have had this moment and so many others with her over these past 18 months.

Cancer, you suck.  I hate you, cancer.  You took a lot from E.  Innocence.  Peace.  Her Hair.  Her Kidney.  You took pieces of her childhood that she will never get back and ones that I as her mother, will never know.  You gave her worry, fear, anxiety, sickness and heartache.  But despite it all, E found strength.  She found courage.  She learned more compassion for those around her.  She found pride in herself for all that she had to overcome because of you.  Her soul is more beautiful today than when you first made your impression on her and for that, I am grateful.

So, yes, cancer.  You suck.  But your presence in my daughter’s life has changed my perspective on life in many ways.  Because of you and the fear that I am at times engulfed in, I am able to recognize moments like these, where I may not have before.  I know to soak it up.  I know to pause.  To enjoy.  To cherish.  I know to close my eyes and rock my big girl like she is still my baby.

All mothers know that Motherhood isn’t always glamorous or grand.  Some days, it is just plain monotonous.  But because of cancer, I see things that I think I may have missed before.  Despite all of my hatred for you, cancer, thank you for illuminating the little moments of motherhood for me.  Thank you for teaching me to appreciate today.

Because you and I both know…I’ll face you again in the coming months.  But not today!