On January 2nd, 2005 - my wife and I were celebrating the new year on a weekend away when her mother called and said that our daughter had thrown up. In our typical fashion- our response was, "clean it up and see ya in a couple of days". Never did we expect or imagine that was the first of many and in two weeks, our 13-month old baby girl would lose her ability to walk, stand, sit up and see. My life changed one January evening when an ER doctor did a CT scan to find out why and a 12 hours later a doctor told us our daughter had a brain tumor and they were prepping the O/R (operating room).
My beautiful child endured multiple surgeries, dealt with stitched while she was awake, infections and finally 6 weeks of radiation treatments. She had MRIs every 4 months for 3 years, every 6 months for 2 and now goes for them yearly. In fact, just 10 minutes ago, I emailed our nurse to schedule the next one. Darling daughter still isn't sure if she'd rather be put to sleep for it (a mugging still) or try it awake. It'll likely be next month.
Yet, we're the lucky ones. We have friends who after 9 and 10 years are still fighting the fight. And worse, we've been to funerals for kids. We're lucky - daughter is absolutely side effect and long-term effect free. She's a happy go lucky 9 year old (almost 10!) who gets to be normal.
September has been designated as being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Gold is the color.
After her first surgery:
Her last day of radiation treatments:
The end of this past school year: