Reflections on Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
On March 6, 2006 our 15 year old son Steven was diagnosed with Stage Four Osteosarcoma. My husband and I were welcomed into a world that is a parent’s worst nightmare.
Being told that our lives were never going to be the same is an understatement. Since that initial diagnosis we witnessed our son struggle and survive, not one cancer, but two different kinds of cancer. The Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer) of the spine came first, and then two years later, Secondary Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, as a result of the chemotherapy treatment from the first cancer. In addition, he had to receive a Bone Marrow Transplant from a generous stranger who was willing to put himself out of commission for a few days to save our son’s life!
Life is not the same! Being a positive minded person, I view the world from the “glass is almost full” point of view. I try to approach life with the belief that everything happens for a reason. We have had the honor of working with some of the most wonderful oncology specialists( Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital of Cleveland) in the world and have met families, our fellow“cancer club members” that will be lifelong friends.
I believe that Steven’s experiences with cancer forced us to accept what Fate has handed us in the most graceful way possible. It doesn’t mean, however, that I have to like what happened to our son. I don’t like that his body was bombarded with life saving efforts that required him to be cut open several times, radiated, and chemically assaulted to the point that we wondered how much more he could tolerate.
And yet, by the Grace of God he did tolerate those treatments and survived.
As a member of a population of parents who have witnessed their darling child suffer the trials and tribulations of cancer I say please find a cure! Please find a way to better treat this horrible disease! Save our children! Support childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer research. Know that every day 35 children will be diagnosed with cancer. One out of five children will die, and like our son; three out of five who survive will suffer devastating, long-term side effects.
Need I say more? How about FIGHT CONQUER CURE!!!