This is Michael. Today we continue on the journey of the gift given to us when Cannon was diagnosed--- the ability to fight. Melissa and I have said for so long and since day one: We are thankful for the fight. So many parents never have the opportunity to fight for the lives of their children, and we were given that chance. Although we were told that the survivability rate of stage 4 neuroblastoma was not high, we were determined to view the entire diagnosis as a life challenge and an opportunity to save Cannon's life. We are still in the fight, and will be for a long time with Cannon because of the high percentage of relapse in children's cancers, but we will now always be in the fight for all the children diagnosed with cancer, their families, and to honor those kids unjustly and unnecessarily lost to this bastard disease.
As almost all know that read these posts, I have been blessed with a terrific life partner and wife, Melissa. Melissa is a fantastic mother and my closest and best friend. I wish I could describe for all how terrific this woman is, but it would take many more posts. I am blessed to be married to this great lady and the kids and Olivia are so fortunate for her to be their mum and guiding them in our household.
Today's post made me think of Melissa and all the hard work she has done, working tirelessly for Cannon in this journey and our battle with him to beat neuroblastoma. I received a copy of the article below about "cancer moms". It is very sobering to read, but I hope all will read it and appreciate the families, especially the mothers, of these kids that suffer from cancer and its harsh treatment. And, never to forget, the moms who have lost their angels. We honor them all.
The article cut and pasted below is written by Jessica Bentsen on the Huffington Post. It is entitled "20 Things A cancer Mom Knows by Heart"
I learned that kids can get cancer when Jackson was 1 year old. He'd just learned to walk. He still wore OshKosh B'gosh overalls and loved to be rocked to sleep. There was nothing that he did wrong, or was exposed to; one day, there was just a lump.
Chemo. Radiation. Surgery. Stem cell transplant. Immunotherapy. Intensive Care. Oncology. Even though it's been four and a half years since he finished treatment, some days it feels like it was yesterday.
At times, I think I was born the day Jackson was diagnosed. The world falls silent as cancer shuts out all the background noise of work stress, mortgages, that extra 10 pounds or what's on TV. It awakens a level of empathy to suffering and an awareness to what's truly important in life.
Once a cancer mom, always a cancer mom. These are 20 things I know by heart:
It is the most unnatural thing in the world to be told your child has cancer.
There's nothing you can do or say to take it away from them. There's no fixing it.
Babies can be born with cancer.
Toddlers can lie on the floor and throw a tantrum while having cancer.
Little Leaguers will miss their games because of cancer.
Teenagers can go straight from the hospital to high school graduation, then right back to the hospital.
Children can often handle higher doses of chemo than adults.
Kids can play hide-and-seek, chase each other in toy cars and build an epic Play-Doh creation, all while toting an IV pole with chemo.
Treatment straight up sucks.
I can feel a fever without even touching my child.
There's such a thing as radioactive urine. And I've changed that diaper.
Sleeping in a hospital bed with a sick child teaches you interesting life skills, like the ability to wake from a sound sleep, grab a bucket and catch vomit.
Some kids can have the opposite reactions to medications... like for instance, something that makes an adult sleepy might amp a child up. Having a toddler stuck on "fast forward" will make you bone-weary.
The first scar is always the worst. Taking that beautiful, soft baby skin and seeing it cut open is like ripping your heart out.
You realize nothing is as important anymore as getting your child well.
A mother's love knows no bounds. Not even being puked on, directly in the face.
You'll never forget the smooth, sticky feeling of a bald head against your cheek.
Every ache and pain, no matter how long your child's been in remission, will remind you that cancer can come back.
Statistics don't mean a damn thing when it comes to your child.
Kids never give up. And neither do their parents.
September is Childhood cancer Awareness (Action) Month. Step up for kids. Step up.
Please help Melissa and me and all the parents of children with cancer and all those advocating for these kids. Help us increase awareness so that someday, someday cancer in children will be no more. Thank you.
Saint Peregrine, JoeJoe, Eddie, Nicholas, Bella, Talia, Cole, Erin, Gabriella, Tommy, Addison, Abigail, Christopher, Jayson, Landon, Salvatore, Zoe, Brooke, Laney and all the angels and saints, please pray for Cannon, Patrick, Ethan, Princeton, Ava, Sabrina, Sophia, Sophie, Andy, Calin, Parker, Ayven, Sebastian, Ellen, Ella, Austin, Braden, Nora, Nate, Theo, Maggie, Jacob, Gage, Jace, Makayla, Angel and all those who suffer from cancer.