Cancer · Chemo mom · Family · Happiness · Holidays · Home · Love · Parenting · pediatric cancer · Uncategorized

Rejoice in Your Holidays

Eight years ago today, Sophie started chemotherapy.
Eight years ago today, I was terrified, watching as Dan held her in her long cherry covered jumper in the waiting room of the hospital while we waited to be taken to pre-op before the surgery to put her port in.
By 2pm that day, they had completed the surgery, she was awake and we were in her hospital room. They were just hooking up the chemo around 2pm, and it started to flow. The endocrinologist came in to talk to us about her pituitary involvement and the liver doctors had been in an hour or so before. The oncologist, a man who we grew to know very very well, was a shiny, new, terrifying man who couldn’t tell me if my daughter would survive. But he hung around a bit just to make sure she was handling the chemo okay.
Eight years ago today, hell descended on our family.
I know it’s December and so many of you out there want to hear the good, happy stories and sing all the holiday songs, but over the last 8 years, we have gone through hell and we have befriended so many people who have gone through or are still going through hell, and I wanted to give everyone perspective. That’s my gift to you this holiday season.  Perspective.

This holiday month, a few of my dear friends are facing the season without their beloved child, a piece of their souls.  And they aren’t alone.  Far too many parents are dealing with this.  An empty place at the table.  And empty bed.  That many fewer gifts under the tree.  A visit to the grave site on Christmas day.  Colorful decorations and candles lit around photos of children.  This is the reality of far too many parents.

Too many parents are currently watching their children suffering while fighting.  Helping them manage through pain they shouldn’t have to feel.  Hoping they gain weight or keep food down or otherwise recover.  Hoping they see another holiday season without pain.

Too many parents are having to make some very, very hard decisions about treatment, or whether to even try the next step, or whether to try to preserve some quality of life for their babies.  That’s what their holidays look like.  And it’s not fair.

I’m not trying to depress you. I’m just wanting you to realize what a gift you have.  I want all of you to just stop and take look at your children. Your healthy, beautiful, wonderful, smiling, dirty, smart-ass, jerk-like, perfect children. And be grateful. Rejoice in your fortune and in their lives. Please, fill this holiday with love and companionship and acceptance of differences and happiness.

I will be rejoicing in Sophie and Archer and Vivi because I have them.  And despite all the mess and noise and sassing and otherwise general kidness, I still have my Sophie and Archer and Vivi are normal healthy kids.   So I’m rejoicing.


Hug your babies. Lots and lots and lots. Because tomorrow is not guaranteed.  But your love for them is.

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