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What can you give?

Two years ago we set the goal. We fixed our eyes on the prize.  We knew that this would be the ultimate fight.  It has had incredible highs and shattering lows.  We have been tried to the point of breaking and blessed beyond our imaginations. My family, my marriage, and my friendships have been tested and we have come out stronger on the other side.

We’re not done yet, but the flag waving over the finish line is in sight.

October 30th is the day Peyton takes her last dose of chemotherapy. No more clinic trips to have chemo in her port, no more lumbar punctures to fill her spinal fluid full of poison, no more daily cups of pills to take.  I hope. I pray. I pray a LOT.  I pray with the knowledge that no matter what God hands us, THIS is what my heart desires beyond all other.  I pray that no matter what God hands us, he will continue to provide the strength to endure it.

I had a long talk with one of Peyton’s oncologists on Wednesday when we went to the clinic for her monthly dose of Vincristine.  We talked about her end of chemo date. My heart both thrilled to know that the date is approaching rapidly and pounded in anxiety to know that we are going to be flying without the safety net.  We discussed post treatment follow up, the bone marrows and spinal taps, the blood test and the monitoring.  The searching for signs that the disease is back.  Relapse…she called it “reoccurrence”, but it doesn’t matter what you call it…is always a threat.

Watching child after child after child relapse in the past 6 months, that fear is more present…more REAL…than ever.  Dr. Kelly’s faith in us is more than I want to think about.

“You know the signs.”

Yes, I do. I’ll be watching her for bruises that may pop up and decide not to go away.  I’ll be checking those lips and cheeks to see if she looks paler than she did yesterday.  There will be a flutter in my heart if she seems fatigued or complains that she aches.  I know the signs all too well.  I will see them when they aren’t there, I’ll be waiting for them to rear their ugly heads.

This week her counts were great. All the counts were lovely and high and I held that piece of paper in my hand and thought about how many more sheets I’ll add to the hundreds I already have.  Each one adding another week, another month between cancer and us.  I pray there are many. That they continue to show that we have beaten the disease.

You may have noticed the new ad in the left sidebar of the site. If not, take the time to notice it.  Our family will be participating in the Cure Kids Cancer Challenge on September 13th.  You may not know it, but September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month and the 13th is now our National Childhood Cancer Awareness Day.  On the 13th we’ll be walking as a family to raise awareness of what kids all over the world are enduring in the fight against pediatric cancer, we’ll be raising money to fund the research that will provide more effective treatments and cures.

In the next weeks, you’ll be given LOTS of opportunities to give to great childhood cancer causes.  The Pediatric Cancer Foundation that is dedicated heart and soul to giving children the tools they need to fight for their lives. The Children’s Cancer Center that has a mission to improve the quality of those lives.  Generation Cures which is comitted to educating and promoting compassion in kids through play, to enable them to help their peers in the fight against cancer, because if we can reach them young, that’s the next generation of advocates. Consider yourself very blessed if you had no idea that foundations likes these even existed, because that means you don’t have to worry about your child’s heath the way thousands of families do.  But now you do know, and I hope that I can encourage you to contribute to the hope that sustains so many, when hope is all we have.

This is Peyton before cancer came into our lives

This is how she taught us to be courageous

This is how she taught us joy

This is our survivor

7 Comments on “What can you give?”

  1. #1 AnissaM
    on Aug 8th, 2008 at 12:34 am

    ***edited by comment because I’m JUST that lazy!

    Yes, I realize that the new ad begging for you to sponsor our CKCC walk team is on the RIGHT and not the LEFT sidebar. I do know my rights and lefts…it was just that my hands were too busy typing to do that hold-up-your-fingers-and-thumbs-and-the-one-that-makes-the-L-is-left thing. Bear with me!

  2. #2 Brittany
    on Aug 8th, 2008 at 7:32 am

    I am praying for her everyday, and I ca’t wait to read the post where you say it’s all over, and she can just be a little girl again!

    Brittanys last blog post..Turns out, not as handy as I thought.

  3. #3 Ami Czorapinski
    on Aug 8th, 2008 at 10:39 am

    This post brought tears to my eyes. Yes, I am very aware of that fear and unfortunately I am aware of what it feels like to have that fear become reality. Remember that Peyton is reaching the end of treatment and the start of a healthy life. Please do not let the fear consume you. Of course glance at her for those signs of “reoccurance” because you have to, but live life as if you don’t. Here’s to October 30th!

  4. #4 Tropic of Mom
    on Aug 8th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Sweet girl. What an amazing milestone for her and your family!

  5. #5 Jennifer
    on Aug 8th, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    I wish I had the funds to give…but for now, I am just able to pray. And pray. And pray.

    I am so happy that Peyton is finally reaching the end of treatment, although I know it will never be the end of cancer for you…with the fears and knowing the other children you’ve come to love. Regardless, you are approaching monumental moments for your family and I feel so blessed to have “known” you through it.

  6. #6 AJs Dad
    on Aug 9th, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Hi there,

    I truly wish you and Peyton all the best. I hope you continue your fight to raise awareness and funding for childhood cancer also. You can help by clicking here…..


  7. #7 Sarah Clapp
    on Aug 11th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I’m thrilled to hear she’s heading for her last treatments and we’ll continue to pray for her recovery. Blessings! Sarah

    Sarah Clapps last blog post..Happy Birthday Gary!