30 DAYS/30 STORIES® 2020
2020 - what a year it has been so far! I am sure multiple posts this month will comment on this. I am also sure many posts will correlate the anxiety and fear that has fallen upon many people as a result of this pandemic with what a family feels when cancer enters their life. Every cough, every sneeze that turns your stomach inside out is due to the fear of getting sick, landing your child in the hospital for days or weeks with an unknown course or complication. This is what cancer families live with every day, starting on the day of diagnosis.
But great joy came to our family in 2020, as well. Madelyn, at the age of seven, after almost two and a half years of receiving chemotherapy, took her very last chemo pill on March 5, 2020. How has our world shifted back to a “new normal”? No more chemo pills on a daily basis, no more IV chemo every month, no more spinal taps every 3 months, no more needle sticks twice a month (now just once a month), no more fevers landing us in the ER or admittance to the hospital since her port was removed at the end of May, and no more weekend antibiotics as of September 5, 2020. Whew - this feels amazingly good! The fear of recurrence, the fear of one of our other children going through what she had to go through, and the pain that not every child/family is as blessed as we are at the end will forever weigh on us. I can only pray that one day no child will have to fight such a big fight.
We were told on December 26, 2017, the night she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at just 5 years old, that it was going to be a long, tedious road ahead but, she will most likely be ok. As her mom, I held onto those words through the ups and the downs. "Fight Song” by Rachel Platten has been our theme song, and our motto, “WE got this”, has gotten us through it all because no one fights alone. PCFLV really helps to keep your child’s and your family’s spirits up during your cancer battle. From the arts and crafts, cooking classes, holiday parties, family farm day, Camp Smile, school supplies, dinners, gift cards, birthday cards, to parent nights, and so much more, they really help to put smiles on the children’s, their siblings’, and parents’ faces. Their support did not stop as a result of the pandemic. These women worked and continue to work tirelessly to provide supplies with parking lot pick-ups, to-go dinners, virtual events, and fundraisers for the pediatric cancer families of the Lehigh Valley. We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts. No child should ever have to fight this fight but, for those who do, PCFLV will be there for you.
Written by her mom, Toni