As strange as it sounds it has taken me a long time to see Madeline’s sickness, diagnosis and death as cancer. I mean, honestly, who wakes up one day with a lovely lady… takes her to the hospital and learns that she has DIPG, a rare inoperable and basically untreatable brainstem tumor, and BAM she is gone 5 days later. No one really. To me, Madeline’s death sat closer to a car accident or something fast and shocking and tragic.
When I think cancer I think… treatment, chemo, radiation, counts, sickness, nausea, hair loss, tired and time. Madeline left us in 5 days… no treatment, no chemo, no counts, no hair loss… lots of tired and dizzy and nauseous and different- but not cancer. It was, however, a rare and terrible and under studied cancer. It was a primitive, mean and forceful killer of good cells. It was Pediatric Cancer at it’s worst. It was definitely cancer.
How the hell did I not know that Pediatric Cancer was like this? How, in all of my years of living, schooling and parenting, could I not know that this existed? I didn’t know so many pediatric cancers existed… I was very unaware. I am still, in a way, unaware. I don’t like to know a lot about all the types… I hate to hear neuroblastoma, or sarcoma… those are big killers. I don’t focus on the name and the prognosis and the treatment. In my experience I don’t care- cancer in a child is cancer in a child. It will hurt them, change them, mess up the ‘normal’ in their family and cause their family to carry fear they should never have to carry. I hear, “A child has cancer… ” and I skip right to, “how can I help?”… prognosis and treatment and time and details don’t freakin’ matter.
I am very focused and inspired to work with an amazing group of families changed by Childhood Cancer and Foundation’s for some of those kids lost… we are working to change so much of this. We are strong, honest, genuine, creative, moved people who will make a difference in Childhood Cancer. We are committed to help raise awareness, to use our resources, energy, time and talents to tell as many people as we can to Go GOLD in September and support GOLD…. we are here to help families who are in various stages of hearing the words “Your amazing, young and beautiful child has cancer.”… We are all here for the same reason. We will change this. We will.
Please visit this site and help support us as we work toward our mission and we share, support and raise awareness… please share your stories… I never thought I would be a mom to an amazing, kind and compassionate lovely who died because of a Childhood Cancer. I am changed.