My heart was so heavy tonight, sitting around my house, Christmas tree lit, Christmas village all aglow, my husband home early from a long day on set. Normally a very happy time of year, and evening. But my spirit was a mixed bag. I was overflowing with gratitude, yet also overcome with sadness, putting me in a quiet, thoughtful mood.
I love working with Childhood Cancer Canada, deeply, but, I have to be honest with all of you. I don’t know how they do it. I don’t know how the parents do it. I don’t know how the oncologists, nurses, and family members do it. How do they get up every single day, with smiles on their faces, joyful, upbeat attitudes and put one foot in front of the other? I must confess, I’m not nearly as strong as any of them. Not even running a close second. After spending only two HALF days with some of the bravest, kindest, funniest, most positive and upbeat kids who are, in a few of their cases, STILL FIGHTING for their lives, turns me into an emotional pile of mush.
I tried to write my post after returning from hanging out with them, and I seriously couldn’t do it. Couldn’t find the words, the motivation, or the desire to get on here and chat about the trivial things that bounce around in my head on a day, to day, basis. Instead I cozied on my couch pondering what more could I do? What else can I possibly do to ensure we find a cure for kid’s cancers? What more can be done, by me, by you to stop the suffering of innocent young kids from getting this “take no prisoners” disease?
I wish I had a science brain so I could get into the labs with the researchers? But alas, my brain totally doesn’t work like that, not even a little bit. If only I had more money that I could pour into the coffers of legitimate research programs. If only there were five of me, so I could take Jamie Lee for a mani/pedi, who has been on chemo every Friday since February 2016. That is EVERY FRIDAY since February, for those of you who aren’t strong in math, like me, that is to date, 42 treatments, in ONE YEAR. How is that okay? How is that just? Or take Jadyn, who is the most radiated person in the Country, who loves fashion and the colour pink, to dance classes, because has serious some moves and loves expressing herself through dance. Then there’s Jake, a dancing machine, who partied at The Purple Party with us until close to 12am, the smile never leaving his face, not once, even when his father shared with the people in attendance how his cancer keeps coming back, moving around his tiny body, month after month. They get an all clear, then three months later cancer has popped up somewhere else in his body. It was crushing to see Jamie Lee look less vibrant than last year, heartbreaking to see a little boy swollen from treatment, or to witness Jadyn have to leave early because she’s so weak, too weak even for treatment.
Yet they smile. They tell jokes. Their parents eyes filled with hope, and I kid you not joy.
Maybe they’re more joyful than the average people, because they’ve looked death in the eye, over and over again, and have come out the victors. I mean, that must give one a great sense of “super hero badassness” to defeat death. I mean the only thing that is final in this world, is death. So if you tell death to go fuck itself multiple times, and you get the prize of one more year, two more years, or in the case of a full recovery/remission, the entire rest of the life of your kid, I suppose you’d be pretty stoked. I would imagine that as a parent you feel pretty grateful, and could give a rats ass about any other challenge that comes your way.
For me though I continue to struggle with the desire to do more. As to why infants, young children even get cancer, this will forever, and always make me go “hmmm.”
And until we do find the reasons why, through research, perhaps you can join me this holiday season in giving to Childhood Cancer Canada http://www.childhoodcancer.ca/ or to Camp Ooch https://www.ooch.org/ rather than gift somebody one more candle, or bottle of wine, or a book that will most likely sit on their bookshelf collecting dust. In a world when we all have too much of senseless clutter, let’s think about giving to those who want and need the greatest gift they can be given.
Thank you for your generosity in advance,