Welllll, for me, and my story, as much as I HATE Cancer, I also love it. I know, take a deep breath, let me explain.
Before Cancer, I took life for granted, yes I was happy, but I didn’t really LOOK at what I had. My beautiful little family, amazing friends, supportive family and employer. I had my dream house, family living close, my best friend as my Husband, I was done school and just coasting through life. Cancer hit and threw everything into a tailspin. Now, that I’m on the other side, I appricate all that I have. I take nothing for granted. Life seems sweeter somehow. Music is more meaningful, a hug is emotional, a night in on the couch with my hubby is bliss! I laugh more, I smile at all that is beautiful. Once your life is ripped for you and you work HARD to but the pieces back together, you savour every moment you’ve got left.
Throughout our Cancer journey we have met up with some amazing people. We have attached ourselves to a couple of other cancer families. These families I care for like they are as close as family. I love to hear updates about how thier kids are doing and despite our busy sch’s, we meet up several times a year. The first family is of Miss S (privacy) She is Griffin’s girlfriend. She is a year older and had lukemia. They met in chemo clinic. She is the sweetest, cutest, sassiest girl you can meet! She bosses Griffin around, and Griffin totally does waht she says! LOL They hold hands and love the swings and compares snacks. Miss S only ate potatoes for a year. She has moved onto include bacon as well. Her mother is thrilled. Speaking of her Mother, We will called her Amanda (not her real name) is the most caring, most compassionate woman I have EVER met! We tend to gab for hours upon hours, we have cried together and laughed together and most of all, raised toddlers who kicked cancer’s butt together. One time, we invited Miss S and Amanda over for an afteroon playdate, Amanda and I yakked all afternoon and into the evening, The kids played with each other and my Mum was busy cutting out letters and numbers and chickens out of paper. Miss S was very impressed she was able to do this. My Dad ended up ordering from a chicken place to feed us and we kept on chatting! They ended up leaving at bedtime as our children were starting to fall asleep! LOL We invite this family to pretty much everything we do because an outing with Miss S is like a day without sunshine! LOL I value my friendship with Amanda and love being able to talk to her about life, but also about Cancer. She parents a lot like we do so we seem to be on the same page regarding our children as well as cancer. They are a great family. We are blassed to have met them and bonded over our clinic times!
Next is Mr Adam (name changed) he is a teenaged boy. Griffin first encountered him in the open chemo clinic. There is a “teenager” area of our clinic where the same children are not supposed to roam. Well, tell at 2 year old that, it just makes them want to go there more. Usually we were there very early in the morning so as you can imagine, the teens were sleepy, grumpy and feeling like crap. Adam stood out because he actually looked you in the eye and smiled when Griffin would come near him! Griffin would come up behind Adam’s Chair and stick his head in between the 2 seats to see waht kind of eletronics Adam had this week. Well, then, one week, Adam was our roommate on the hospital ward. Adam was NOT feeling well, At all. For the the entire week stay, he was throwing up every couple of minutes. You would hear Blahhhhh (him puking) and then a very weak but polite, “excuse me” from behind the curtain. Then a mintues minutes later another Blahhhhh and then Adam would pipe up with a “sorry!” Oh my gawd, I would laugh my head off! What a sweet boy! He is throwing up a storm and he bothers to excuse himself? What a champ! So from then on, he was our “favourite” room mate for being so polite and cute! So Griffin and Adam had a cute little relationship from then on. On Griffin’s last in hospital chemo treatment, we were in a private room and Adam was beside us, he was too weak to get up but he wrote a note for griffin on a piece of paper for his Mum to write a saying on Griffin’s “congrats” poster on Griffin’s door. I’ll have to dig it out because its the most amazing quote ever…I will have to find it! Adam’s mother is an amazing example of Cancer mama WARRIOR! And an amazing woman in general. I love yakking to her too! Adam is such a sweet boy, he finished his treatments and sent Griffin a Xmas package last year that included one of those story books where you can record your voice so now Griffin has Adam reading him the sweetest little christmas book. It brings a tear to my eye everytime. Adam has recently relapsed with his cancer and is in the process of getting a bone marrow transplant from his brother. Our hearts and thoughts are with this family right now!
Next is Miss M, another chemo clinic buddy! Miss M and Griffin became buddies over thier mutual need for food during a steroid week. Griffin would steal her strawberries, Miss M would steal his crackers. They were buddies ever since! Again, from a wonderful family who we really enjoy doing stuff with. Miss M is usually the life of the Party, wearing a tutu and sparkley shoes pretty much at all times and loves to DANCE! Her hair has started to grow back (she is still in treatment) which makes her have this wild child look that totally suites her personality! She lives over an hour away but you can count on Miss M’s family showing up for events which are always fun!
Through facebook and emails, us Cancer Mamas (as I call us) have formed quite a pwerful and wonderful group that can reach out and rant or ask for help or a tip for a problem. Its actually quite amazing!!! I look to these Mamas for thier wisdom but also thier friendship. I actually cannot imagine my life without these people now. And I thank Cancer for bringing us together.
Throughout Griffin’s journey, we have come in contact with some really great stangers that became vital to our Cancer Fight! Linda (name changed) lost her husband to cancer years ago and her son had it too and now she works hard for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay For Life every year. We actually met her there. Griffin was still battling his cancer and I was crying on the side of the road. Linda picked me up and gave me a hug. And just held me for awhile…like my angel! She met us with us a couple of months later with gifts and cash and more hugs. She and her children are a blast, such a caring group of people! We are planning to get to gether soon to go to the aquarium with the kids! YAY! But she is an awesome example of someone whose life was ripped apart by cancer and instead of letting it ruin her, she stands tall, and fights everyday for a cure. She is my hero.
Within a week of Griffin’s diagnosis, a friend at work was very active about reaching out to community help for us. She was concerned abotu the cost of cancer. At the time I was very overwhelmed and totally did not pay attention to what she was saying (sorry J!) But thanks to her stubborness and plain old stepping over my head, she got in contact with Alivia’s Rainbows which is a FAB foundation her in Niagara Falls that directly supports cancer families with things that they need. They had lost thier daughter Alivia to cancer a couple of years before and this is how they honour thier daughters memory! How wonderful is that??? They came over one night, right before Xmas and dropped off SEVERAL gift cards for food and gas. I cried and cried. These people understood! And they were the first “cancer family” that we had come in contact with! I was desprete for information so it was wonderful to get the “inside scoop” and another cancer families input. I think they were surprised that I wanted to talk to them since they lost thier daughter, but I didn’t care, I was so glad to speak to them! Chantal & Craig have been amazing friends and our idols to look up to on our journey through cancer. One day I want to grow up to be like them! Strong, caring and amazing!!! They continued to support us on many levels. And we are now working hard to support thier cause! We will never be able to repay everything they gave to us, because its priceless but we try! Please check them out at www.aliviasrainbows.com/
Another amazing Cancer Family we came across was the crazy people at “Team Kelsey” Kelsey Hill lost her battle with a brain tumour and her supporters, all dressed in the brightest green you have EVER seen group together and move mountains! Her Mum Lana (and family) are very active in the cancer community, they raise money for the Ronald McDonald House and sponser Brain Tumour Kids in our community. Lana reaches out and touches each kid with her love and care and you can’t help but to desire to be part of Team Kelsey! Check them out at: http://www.teamkelsey.ca/
So in short, yes cancer sucks, but you can either let it consume you, or you can fight back!!! Don’t just sit in the corner and feel sorry for yourself, get up, talk to the people in clinic with you,