September 25th is a very special day to our family. 2 years ago on this very day John received tons and tons of healthy stem cells to jump start his system once again. While it was probably one of the scariest times for our family throughout his treatments, as we knew the risks John faced …and before he got better, he became very, very ill….the stem cell transplant meant hope. Hope for a future without cancer, without neuroblastoma.
On September 25, 2012 our family, along with all the grandparents, gathered around John’s bedside as the hospital Chaplin gave a blessing. In true John style…he plugged his ears for the entire process. When it was the actual time for the stem cell transplant (a quick procedure that takes about 10 minutes) the grandparents were all set to watch on Skype from the patient lounge while the five of us were in the room. Almost instantly John began to throw up and the Skype was over. Balloons and gifts were given as this was a truly special day…a second birthday. John could have cared less about all the fanfare, the intense chemo prior to the transplant had wreaked havoc on his 6 year old body.
John entered the hospital on September 18th and came home on October 16th. He is one tough kid!
Here are a few pictures from his stem cell transplant days:
We have been talking to John about this special day and he has had a “Whatever” attitude about the whole thing. While with me this afternoon/evening he was taking full advantage of the day. After hockey, “Will you get me a milk shake? It is MY day you know.” When asked what he would like for dinner and looking forward to eating out myself…the response, “I want Mac and Cheese. It’s my day.It’s like a birthday.” Mac and Cheese it was. He did his best to tease his dad that no one else was around on his special day(It was one of those evenings.). There will now be a proper celebration with the “Celebrate Plate” and all this weekend.
While we are ever so thankful for the blessings of John’s health, we hurt for other families. Last night I learned of 2 more children being taken by neuroblastoma. One was Princess Emma and the other a little boy who’s story I have followed for the last year. I was rattled. I was a mess.
I was a mess because my heart hurts so badly for those families. I can not fathom the pain and heartbreak they must be feeling. I pray for peace and comfort for them.
I was a mess because news of children passing from neuroblastoma scares the crap out of me and fills me with fear.
John’s battle and the news of Emma and other children passing from childhood cancer makes me question ..How am I going to live me life to make a difference? How can I help? Where can I make an impact?
My life is definitely a work in progress. What do I know for sure? I know life can change in an instant. I know life is too short to sweat the small stuff (Seriously!). I know that we should love and live with hearts bursting with gratitude and grace. Do I do all of these things 100% of the time? No, but I can quickly remind myself what is really important and try to snap out of it.
Love, Hope and Blessings,
Special prayers for our friend Kathy.