Today we lost a Baby…
Okay, so Austin was not exactly a baby, he was 13 years old, but he was still Jen’s baby and Cancer took him too soon, and I’m upset. I want to stomp my feet, I want to have a temper tantrum, I want to scream at the top of my lungs. But will any of this bring sweet Austin back to us? Nope, so here I am, stuck at work, trying to hold it together so my co-workers don’t think I’m even nuttier than I really am.
Let me introduce Mr Austin. (He is Adam in my other posts) He is a teenager. All the teens in the Chemo clinic sit in a special area that has a big TV and an arcade style video game. This area is off-limits to little kids. Try telling a 2 year old that. This off-limits area is tempting like honey to a bee. All the teens have iphones and ipads and various video games. My techie loving son was desprete to get his sticky little hands on it all. Most of the teens ignored the little kids (I don’t blame them) but Austin did not. Griffin would poke his head inbetween the seats to peer at whatever Austin was watching/gaming. Austin would grin ear to ear and tilt the screen so Griffin could see. They were buddies from that day forward. Austin was not a man of many words, generally quiet. So was Griffin, but they were still great buds!
About halfway through Griffin’s year of treatments, we were on the hospital ward for a routine round of in-treatment chemo for a week. And guess who was our roommate? AUSTIN! Griffin was VERY excited, but poor Austin was having a rough go. The poor kid was throwing up every three minutes. Since we were sharing a room, you can hear everything so we were trying to respect his privacy, but you could not help but to hear the BLAHHHHH of him throwing up, and then the sweetest, weakest little voice would pipe up, “Excuse me” or “Sorry” everytime he threw up! He was apologizing to us! He was in the worst shape of his life, puking up a gut and worried about us?!?!?! Yup, thats Austin for ya!
On Griffin’s LAST chemo hospital stay, Austin was also on the ward, right beside us in a quarentined room. He was flown in by helicopter, he was very weak and small looking in that bed. He had an oxygen mask on, and would lift his head and try to take the mask off to talk to Griffin! Since he was too weak to get up, he wrote a note so his Mum could write a special note on Griffin’s NO MORE CHEMO banner.
Austin was such a kind soul, seriously, its really rare to see that in teens these days. We are so lucky to have met him, even for such a little while. Somedays it just doesn’t seem fair. I cry my tears but now I’m just plain old MAD. Our babies shouldn’t be going through all this grown up stuff. My child shouldn’t have to go to THREE different funerals for his friends this year…its just not fair. But it just makes me want to fight harder, scream louder. Lets find a cure here people. NOt one more baby are we going to loose to this horrid disease. No more.
RIP Austin Whittom. May you be free of pain and at peace. Keep your stick on the Ice!