Monday, August 29, 2016

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

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