Monday, August 29, 2016

Do you even care?



This should be an entirely different picture.

But it is just this

...and honestly, it freaking sucks...worse than anything could possibly suck, and then sucks a whole lot more. All day everyday, not just the first day of school. But these times that really push the "should have been" to the forefront, there just are no words to describe the heart and soul ache.

Too many families are dealing with this as their 'welcome back to school', and that all-day-everyday ache. Too many kids are having to put up the fight for their lives.

Stay with me for a few minutes. September is #ChildhoodCancerAwareness month. It's the month we #goGOLD for the kids who are forced to grow up faster than they should, and be forced to think about things that they should not have to think about at a young age...the kids who will N.E.V.E.R have normal lives. Even when they achieve remission, or even experience a joyous cancer-free status, the thought of relapse is always lurking in their minds. They wait with bated breath for good news at every check-up. The fight is never over. The roller coaster never ends.

The reality is that nationally, about 46 kids will get a cancer diagnosis today. Just today alone. About 46 will get a cancer diagnosis tomorrow, and the day after that too. Imagine about 2 entire classrooms of children, all with cancer just diagnosed today. On September 13, 2012, there were about 46 kids who were diagnosed with cancer. My son was one of those 46. Before September 13, 2012, I really didn't think much about children's cancer. Maybe you don't think much about it either.

I would have never believed that my happy, healthy, super athletic son would be diagnosed with the "most curable kind" of leukemia at age 11, then relapse still on treatment at age 14, and die less than a year later. Across the world today, about 250 kids will die from cancer, and about 250 will die from cancer tomorrow. Did you read that...did you absorb that? Two hundred and fifty kids will DIE today from cancer. Childhood cancer isn't cute, smiling bald-headed children who get to do fun things with celebrities or have Disney vacations. It's UGLY. It's horrid. It's lost hair, lost weight, lost muscle mass, it's feelings of shame, of being different, not fitting in, missed friends, missed school, missed sports, missed important milestones, handfuls of pills, shots, and more shots...the kind that go deep and the liquid burns into your legs, surgeries, ports, anesthesia, spinal chemo, bone marrow sucked out of a needle that was drilled into your hip bone, blood tests and more blood tests, scans, x-rays, wearing a mask for your own protection, lowered immune system, fevers, more overnights in the hospital, chemo infusions, radiation, miles and miles getting to and from treatment, nights upon nights away from your own bed, constant beeping, trouble sleeping, nightmares, worry, wondering if this thing is going to kill you....that's what is REAL to these kids. This is their life, and most of the time, it's a short life.

I challenge you to think about #ChildhoodCancer at least for this upcoming month, and put those thoughts into action. Do something to make a difference for these kids. Please.

#BJStrong #CureForBJRound2 #MollysKids#ChildhoodLeukemia #PediatricCancerAwareness   #TheTruth365


Back to School...Should Have Been

This should be an entirely different picture.

But it is just this

...and honestly, it freaking sucks...worse than anything could possibly suck, and then sucks a whole lot more. All day everyday, not just the first day of school. But these times that really push the "should have been" to the forefront, there just are no words to describe the heart and soul ache.
Too many families are dealing with this as their 'welcome back to school', and that all-day-everyday ache. Too many kids are having to put up the fight for their lives.

Stay with me for a few minutes. September is #ChildhoodCancerAwareness month. It's the month we #goGOLD for the kids who are forced to grow up faster than they should, and be forced to think about things that they should not have to think about at a young age...the kids who will N.E.V.E.R have normal lives. Even when they achieve remission, or even experience a joyous cancer-free status, the thought of relapse is always lurking in their minds. They wait with bated breath for good news at every check-up. The fight is never over. The roller coaster never ends.

The reality is that nationally, about 46 kids will get a cancer diagnosis today. Just today alone. About 46 will get a cancer diagnosis tomorrow, and the day after that too. Imagine about 2 entire classrooms of children, all with cancer just diagnosed today. On September 13, 2012, there were about 46 kids who were diagnosed with cancer. My son was one of those 46. Before September 13, 2012, I really didn't think much about children's cancer. Maybe you don't think much about it either.

I would have never believed that my happy, healthy, super athletic son would be diagnosed with the "most curable kind" of leukemia at age 11, then relapse still on treatment at age 14, and die less than a year later. Across the world today, about 250 kids will die from cancer, and about 250 will die from cancer tomorrow. Did you read that...did you absorb that? Two hundred and fifty kids will DIE today from cancer. Childhood cancer isn't cute, smiling bald-headed children who get to do fun things with celebrities or have Disney vacations. It's UGLY. It's horrid. It's lost hair, lost weight, lost muscle mass, it's feelings of shame, of being different, not fitting in, missed friends, missed school, missed sports, missed important milestones, handfuls of pills, shots, and more shots...the kind that go deep and the liquid burns into your legs, surgeries, ports, anesthesia, spinal chemo, bone marrow sucked out of a needle that was drilled into your hip bone, blood tests and more blood tests, scans, x-rays, wearing a mask for your own protection, lowered immune system, fevers, more overnights in the hospital, chemo infusions, radiation, miles and miles getting to and from treatment, nights upon nights away from your own bed, constant beeping, trouble sleeping, nightmares, worry, wondering if this thing is going to kill you....that's what is REAL to these kids. This is their life, and most of the time, it's a short life.

I challenge you to think about #ChildhoodCancer at least for this upcoming month, and put those thoughts into action. Do something to make a difference for these kids. Please.

#BJStrong #CureForBJRound2 #MollysKids #ChildhoodLeukemia #PediatricCancerAwareness #TheTruth365

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

First Day of School


This was last year's (2015-16) first day of school pictures. Carly started 5th and BJ was supposed to start 9th grade at North Lincoln High School, but he was too sick and in the hospital. BJ never went back to school after his leukemia relapse on May 22, 2015. That Sunday night before school started was the first and only time in 3 1/2 years that I hadn't slept beside BJ at the hospital. We were all upset at being apart that night. After not getting much sleep, Carly said that it would be better to sleep at the hospital with BJ and get her to school from Levine, instead of staying at home without him. She didn't want to be away from BJ and she didn't want him to not have me there either. I took her to school that morning and went back to the hospital to be with BJ. The rest of the year, my sister friend Cherie, came to get Carly from the hospital if BJ didn't want, or was too sick for me to leave; or I would meet her halfway if BJ was ok with me being gone for an hour.

Carly was a little nervous the first day because she had to change schools that year. It turned out to be a blessing and she loved the new school. She made a new friend on her first day at Pumpkin Center Intermediate School and that sweet friend and Carly are the best of friends to this day. They will be in the same homebase class when they start the 6th grade on Monday. (Squeals of excitement when she got that news!) It's a whole new year, with new beginnings, new challenges, new pain and finding our new normal. She'll be walking the same hallways that BJ did. There are plenty of teachers, staff and students to support her there. And as usual, God's hand is in all of this...even though it hurts (huge understatement) and we don't understand His plan. We don't understand why BJ wasn't healed, but it doesn't make God any less "real" to us. Like the song "Thy Will Be Done" says....I have to remember that You are God, and I am not. I know He's walking each step beside us, and does a whole lot of carrying too. I pray that this year is a good one for Carly, that BJ is always remembered, and that we get through the rest of the "firsts". #BJStrong

It's been a long day without you BJ...can't wait to tell you all about it when I see you again. 



Saturday, August 6, 2016

Forever my baby


“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”