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 AwarenessBrett's Ride For RabdoThe 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?"