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Little Things

October 3, 2009

Cancer parents trudge through spinal taps, bone marrows and hospitalizations with relative ease. Of course these things come with their own level of stress. These things bring the reinforcements of non-cancer parents, the relatives and friends, out for support. The problem with the chemo, taps, and long hours at the clinic is that they are normal.

This always sounds odd to those who have not experienced pediatric cancer.

This is part of having a child diagnose with cancer. It makes sense. You do this, you breathe you say, this “insert whatever procedure, drug or moment” will be over soon.  The non-cancer people, post comments about strength and wonder how you make it through, and you wonder yourself. But  really  that cancer-only-stuff can be dealt with moment by moment.

The strength comes from  surviving the little things.

The change of season has so many moms, or dads, changing the wardrobe from short-sleeve to long, from short pants to long, and dragging out the sweaters. Tonight I asked my little bald-headed-beauty to help me by trying on a few things.  I see her naked all the time during her baths, but something about seeing this naked, little tiny thing trying on clothes broke my heart. She is so tiny. Most parents donate, sell or freecycle their children’s clothes. Last spring, I put Isa’s winter clothes back into her box. You know, the box that most parents keep around for the next season.  The place you put all those great deals you found at yard sales over the summer. The clothes that are SUPPOSED TO BE BIGGER.

Children are supposed to grow. Instead, Isa has lost FIVE pounds since January 11, 2009. LOST WEIGHT!!!!  She weighs 27 pounds. She’s grown a half-inch.  Stop and look at your child. How many pounds have they gained since January 11. How much have they grown. Did you have to buy them new shoes recently?  When her grandmother came to visit this summer, she bought her size 2, which was  two  sizes smaller than what she wore in January.  Dragging out the box was prompted by the colder nights. The girls needed warmer jammies.  Isa’s  wore her polar bear jammies the day we were told that she had leukemia. Last night, she wore them again.

So, once again, instead of giving away her little summer dresses, I put them back into the box. Ideally those dresses will be given away in April or May when I switch around the seasons.  But likely that won’t happen. Papa says that the only thing worse is having to throw away the box.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Deadra AKA Demie permalink
    October 12, 2009 9:32 am

    Damn, Pheeb, this one really got me. I should message you more but please believe me when I say you are on my mind every day. Anything I think to say sounds so small, nearly ridiculous, really… I hate that you are going though this, I am so sorry Isa is hurting, – duh, of course, and nothing like the way you hate it and are sorry, etc, etc — I do just really love you guys and all I can say is that I desparately hope for the best for you all — D

    • October 13, 2009 9:22 am

      Love you! I just thought of you tonight. I asked my friend if she had friends over in high school and just laughed and laughed. And I thought of all the laughing we did. So much laughing. Either my friends are hilarious or I AM !!! Ha. so much laughing. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Leigh permalink
    October 11, 2009 12:12 am

    My one year old daughter, Eleanor, was diagnosed with ALL on September 9, 2009. Our family is adjusting to the new routine of medicine and weekly clinic visits. Eleanor is really hit hard with the side effects from the Dexamethasone. Thank goodness she was able to stop taking it on Oct. 8th. It’s heartbreaking to see my little baby, who had just started to take her first steps before her diagnosis, too weak to even crawl. She also has the worst diaper rash I’ve ever seen. I’m just taking life one day at a time and trying to cherish every little smile.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  3. October 8, 2009 6:08 pm

    I can relate. Maren really wanted to make pumpkin soup (she loves the book), so she made it today with daddy and brother, but she didn’t eat a bite. This was lunch. I didn’t have the heart to clear her plate off the table earlier, so I finally did it just now at 7:00. Sad. Thanks again for the excellent blogging. It’s very much appreciated. I hope Isa’s next round of DI goes really well. I’ll be praying for her. Emily

    • October 9, 2009 3:20 pm

      Just love that we can have a discussion about this stuff. I am not one for joining groups, and am so selfish, I only want to get information when I want to get it, rather than sit and sit and sit in some parental support group or something. (ugh, did i really just admit that, ha.) feel free to contact me for more discussion or whatever!

  4. October 7, 2009 1:27 pm

    Your blog is so important- everyone feels like they know the ins and outs of cancer, but when you or your loved ones are actually affected by it, it’s an entirely different story-there’s so much to learn throughout the process.
    My Mother recently had treatment for very progressed cervical cancer (she’s only 42, very young for cervical cancer, and I’m 17), but I can only imagine how devastating it must be when it’s the daughter with cancer.
    My Mom was the complete opposite weight-wise- she put on a good 3 stone from all of the HRT she received.
    You’re immensely brave for writing this blog and sharing your experiences with everyone.
    I hope everything works out for you and your family,
    All my love,

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