30 DAYS/30 STORIES® 2022
As I sit down to write this, it has been almost exactly one year today from when our beloved son, Andrew (AKA Squishy) was diagnosed with cancer. This is the second 30 days story I am writing and will be quite different than the one I wrote a year ago.
So what is the difference? Many things. We know so much more about the horrible disease he has been suffering from, we know so many more people and their stories, we have loved and celebrated victories with new friends and sadly lost others, and are now living at home and not in the hospital as we did for 6 memorable months last year. And the biggest and most exciting difference is that Andrew remains in full remission, with no traces of cancer to be found since after his first round of treatment.
That is the absolute most important thing in our lives, and it probably will be for a long time. We are eternally grateful for the many doctors, nurses and medical professionals who treated Andrew and helped us feel as comfortable as possible while supporting him. We are forever honored and grateful to the scientific community who toiled to find ways to fight this disease, and the many victims who suffered and were lab rats in years past to help develop the course of therapy that helped us. We are touched by the generosity of organizations like PCFLV and how they have not forgotten about us, even as we move beyond active treatment. We are so very fortunate and blessed with how our story is being written right now.
We are very fortunate. Very blessed and very lucky. I keep saying these things in this story and in my mind as if not saying them might change our fate or outcome, but that is how we feel on many days. How Andrew responded to therapy and how he is in remission was out of our hands, and his fate and health ahead in large part is as well. We can help influence it only to a degree, and the rest of it is left to powers beyond our comprehension. Our life changed when we got the news a year ago about Andrew, and it did not just change in the obvious ways – it also made us paranoid. I personally feel like we are often looking over our shoulder to see when cancer is going to catch back up with us. It is a terrible feeling, and while we celebrate every day with joy and appreciation, every time Andrew has gotten a cold, developed a random seeming bruise, cried uncontrollably for no reason, woken up in the middle of the night, or had any kind of problem, cancer is never far from our mind. Lurking and reminding us that it will never be far from our thoughts.
Maybe that is OK. I know we will never stop advocating for more funding for children’s cancer research. We will never stop supporting amazing organizations like PCFLV, and we will never forget what we went through and others are going through right now. We are fortunate. We are blessed. And we got very lucky with our son that he had a treatable cancer, and is doing great this very minute. As to what the future holds? We do not know, but if one of these days we look over our shoulder and cancer has caught us? Guess what – we will not break. We will never break and will fight it with all we have and never give up.
Written by Andrew’s dad, David
Please consider helping children with cancer and others in our community by scheduling a blood donation at Miller-Keystone Blood Center: https://donor.giveapint.org/donor/schedules/zip