When my sister was going through cancer treatment often times her white blood cell count was insanely low, which prevented us from having other kids over to play very often. If one of them had any trace of a cold it could be devastating for my sister. But that all changed when she went into remission. Oh what an amazing piece of news that was!
I can remember a pool party we had after that so vividly. A friend my sister made at the hospital, Matt, and his mom came over. A couple of friends of mine from school also came over. We all swam in our above ground pool. It was warm, but not too hot that day, and sunny.
We had all kinds of pool toys! Various floating rafts, that ring toss game where the rings sink to the bottom; super soaker guns.
My mom served cut up fruit and this amazing sweet dip she makes to go with it. We all sat on the deck, snacked, and let the sun dry us off. Everyone was smiling. Our dogs played together. It was really fun.
Freedom from the hospital and good health never tasted so sweet.
I don’t have a major goal in mind for this. I haven’t figured out any strong theme. It’s not specifically about food, or my job. I just want to share stories. I’m going to jot down what’s on my mind in the moment I log on. Thanks for reading.
When I was three years old my younger sister was diagnosed with cancer. Embryonic rhabdomyosarcoma was her poison. She was just a toddler, and it was bad. Bad enough that she was a Make a Wish kid. We went to Disney World. She lived through her treatment and is now in her late 20s, like me. Treatment took its toll on her mind and body and she’s never really had a simple or easy life since. I wish there was more I could do to help her in general than be a listening ear. The problem is we can each only live our own lives. We can’t live for someone else.
Something like a terminal cancer diagnosis affects the entire family in some ways. I certainly didn’t come out of those years without my share of things to work through. One of the hardest parts of it all is how little I feel I can talk to people about that part of my life. It was a huge chunk of my early childhood but often when I drop the words “pediatric cancer” I see eyes dart away and smiles fade. No one wants to be the Debbie Downer of the group. Not even if it means keeping a part of my life quiet a lot of the time. The people who stick around in my life long enough will want to know.