One of our Dragonfly Mom’s posted this on her blog…
Even in light of Carlin’s wonderful MRI results yesterday, I find that when you are the parent of a kid with cancer, elation and sorrow can exist simultaneously. Happiness we can bask in, for the clean scan and that Carlin is currently doing great and feels terrific. Celebrating that we are all at home for now and sleeping in our own beds, and that life feels a little bit normal again.
Deep sadness that we will go through this same ‘scanxiety’ every three months, and the feeling of loss for our previous innocence and cancer-free existence. The knowledge that our respite from hospital life may be temporary. But most of all, grief for all of the other parents out there experiencing what we have and worse.
You see, once you become a cancer parent, your circle of friends and acquaintances expands to others who share this bond that none of us chose. Last week, two families we met in the hospital lost loved ones to cancer. This week, two more families we have come to know well with children fighting brain tumors also had MRIs. They may be dealing with results perhaps not as encouraging as we are. Another friend has a daughter that relapsed with leukemia a few weeks ago after being cancer free for years. Another friend has a family member that is in need of a bone marrow transplant.
Don’t get me wrong, the Truly Brave video that has been going around is lovely and uplifting. Our kids are rock stars and deserve the appreciation and celebration for their fight. But the reality is, chemo and radiation aren’t pretty. There isn’t a catchy soundtrack. The real cancer soundtrack involves lots of crying and retching. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month may be over, but we and the thousands of other families faced with pediatric cancer have a long, perhaps never ending road ahead filled with challenges. Please, now that you ARE aware, channel that awareness into action.
Cancer is a malicious bitch. We need to find a cure. We need to support kids with better targeted therapy. We need to fund pediatric cancer research.
Support an individual family by helping with chores or bringing a meal, or donate to an organization like St. Baldricks or Alex’s Lemonade Stand, or The Dragonfly Foundation. There are innumerable worthy charities to give to if you are financially able. Volunteer to serve a meal or clean a room at a local Ronald McDonald House.
EVERYONE should donate blood and register on the National Bone Marrow Registry. Blood and marrow donations WILL save a life. Donating blood is free and easy. I’ll be posting some links to get onto the bone marrow registry, which involves sending in a cheek swab in a kit.
Thank you to those that have already helped either with our personal fight, or others. Thank you to the blood and marrow donors.
I repeat, Cancer is a malicious, evil bitch. Let’s prioritize kicking her ass.