September is coming to an end. The gold ribbons that us parents have been wearing, the information we've been trying to put out there, for the world to see, the pictures of our kids, the rallies, the events, the races, the gala's the fundraisers...they are coming to an end. I have to take down the sign in my yard, my window. The month of awareness has been busy, exhausting, inspiring, surreal, sad, amazing. The reality is that, it's over for everyone that isn't in it. But it's not ever over. It's not over for the kids in treatment. For the kids about to be diagnosed. For the kids in transplant. For the kids in heaven. For the parents in pain, the parents who are numb, the parents who watch support come in flocks and fear it will fade away. It's not ever over for us, and it never will be. Once a family is affected by their child having cancer, they are ALWAYS a cancer family. They are either mourning the loss of their child, helping their child get through active treatment, or holding their breath to see if it will all 'work' after all the thousands of chemos and pokes, and medications. Will it work? Will it work for a month? For a 6, for a year, for two..for a life time? At what cost??
We are thankful, we are blessed, we are joyful, we are amazed, we are also afraid, paranoid, scarred, exhausted, changed, jaded, socially messed up...and more.
September has been amazing. I can't believe all the amazing fund raisers, the runs, the speeches, the events, the gala, the lighting of Parliament hill..it was a month of hope, of spreading support and awareness, it was a month of heroes, being seen as heroes! I loved seeing Luke being recognized, loved, cared for.
As October starts this week, I'm filled with a sense of ...of...loss. It was three years ago, October 28, 2011 that Luke was diagnosed. I wont ever get that back. I wont ever have my 4 year old boy as a healthy boy, or my 5 year old boy. No, those years were sick years, very sick years. Very sad, and hospital bound years. Year 6 and 7 are better years, he's shown so much improvement, but it's still a fresh wound. We still give him oral chemo EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. We still go for chemo EVERY SINGLE MONTH. We still get steroids, for a week, EVERY SINGLE MONTH. We still go to the hospital, every second week. Blood work, chemo, steroids, antibiotics, it has not stopped. We are nearing the end, for which we are grateful. But, as all childhood cancer families know, it's never really over. He will have blood work, and follow ups, for his entire life. I wonder if I'll ever sleep properly again. I wonder if my other kids will continue to harbour the resentments of a 'spoiled and mean sick brother.' I just don't know the future, no one does.
September. September I remember children who have passed away. I meet new children diagnosed. I see children go onto other places, seeking more intense treatment. I see children fight for their lives. I see children ring the victory bell. I see children who just want to be children.
Let your gold shine on beyond September. Remember these little fighters who go from event to event with sore tummies, tired legs, exhausted bodies, confused thoughts. These children, like my Luke, who never hopefully will have to fight this hard again, but should they, will prove to us all, that we can do just about anything.
Keep supporting the kids that struggle, the families that are running on empty to keep up the hope. We need you!