Visit Rebekah's Page to get updates, read messages and send messages to Rebekah and her family through comments. This is a public "diary" of a family whose little girl started a battle with inoperable cancer in April 2005. In December 2007 our house burned down. And in September 2009 Mommy was diagnosed with a terminal disease (a genetic form of ALS) that took her to Heaven in July, 2011, leaving Daddy and two young girls to make it on their own. Over several years of ups and downs, you will get into our hearts, minds and souls as we share joys and sorrows. It can sometimes be very difficult to read. We hope it is also uplifting. Please find joy in what you read here.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Just When You Thought...

We know so many families that get done with treatment and leave. They turn their back on their past and try and get as far away from the "cancer days" as possible. This is also true for families who have lost a child to cancer; they obviously want to put it all behind them. Well let me tell you first hand that you cannot put it all behind you, you cannot forget, and its pretty darn hard to pretend it didn't happen. No matter what happens, no matter how far you try and run from it, no matter how far you think you have distanced yourself from it, if you look over your shoulder there it is. cancer has changed our lives so much and effects our lives so much each day that we really cannot imagine "getting over it".

One of the things that we have a heart for is sharing with and serving other families fighting childhood cancer. And one of the ways we do that is through volunteering for an awesome organization that helped us a lot during our treatment, Candlelighters. Our local chapter of Candlelighters is very strong and provides many many resources and support opportunities to families. One of those opportunities that we have comitted ourselves to is providing meals for inpatient families and their kiddos at the two local pediatric oncology hospitals. Last night was one of those evenings. We have come to be close to quite a few families who continue their struggle. Sometimes it is hard watching, sharing, caring and sometimes we understand those that can't emotionally come to the hospitals or don't want anything to do with other kiddo cancer families; but we couldn't imagine not being able to share a truly empathetic shoulder.

Last night during one of our dinners we met Jenessa and her family. They just returned to a new home built by the ABC show Extreme Makeover (which will air sometime later this fall). We knew about them but never had the opportunity to sit and talk with them - until last night. Jenessa, known to her friends and family as Boey, is an eight year old that had a Sarcoma very similar to Rebekah's, also in her face. Like Rebekah, Boey's cancer seemed to be gone after their first year of treatment. Unlike Rebekah's, however, Boey's cancer relapsed in May of this year and it is in multiple places throughout her body. You can read the details on her site by clicking on her name above.

As we sat and talked with Boey's parents last night we found that we had many MANY things in common - unfortunately. We felt like we were talking with old friends even though we had just met. We also felt like we were right there in this battle again; just when we thought we were over things.

This is rambling and, like I have so many other times, I apologize. But I have told you all of this so you can more fully understand us, and also so you can undertand what led up to sitting here at 3:30am in the morning crying my eyes out. In meeting with new families you learn new cancer related links, stories, videos, etc. And meeting with Boey's family was no different. In last night's conversations we learned about a video project done by someone that included some of our local kiddos in it. And from watching that video I found links to a few more and I will post some of them here. Please be warned before you click on them - you cannot get through any of them with dry eyes.

Pediatric cancer Awareness
Brett's Ride For Rabdo
The Story of Childhood cancer

Just when we thought we were over certain things, something like these videos makes you realize that there is no getting over it as your heart continues to ache and your brain continues to ask "why?" And I, daddy, have to admit that through these tears I can do nothing right now but call out "Abba, Father, Why?"

2 Shared:

At Thursday, July 19, 2007 7:29:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous Left a thought...

Thank you, thank you for sharing your thoughts and the links. Sobering thoughts that I need to make room for in my heart and brain. Such a hard thing to do but something we must when we have a child with cancer. No more words come to mind right now so I guess I need to chew on these new thoughts for awhile...and pray, pray, pray...Holding on to the truth that God is Good all the time...and He loves us all so very much...
We hope to see your precious family soon...
The Spidals Elaine, Glen, Jeremy and Josiah

At Thursday, July 19, 2007 4:19:00 PM, Anonymous Mark Matteson Left a thought...

You speak volumes and volumes. Ramble all you want. You speak for parents and kiddos alike, and I find myself saying THAT'S HOW I FEEL! The people who are running away are just ignoring the elephant in the living room. You are not, but rather are trying to do something positive about it. Hope this makes sense. Personally, thank you for your support during this roller coaster ride called childhood cancer - and thank you to Candlelighters for their help and support-not just to our family, but to the greater community as well.
In His Peace,
Mark Matteson


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