Our amazing people existed and took a piece of our hearts, they helped build us; we are who we are because of what they built and what we lost with them. Grief is a gift most of all because it reminds us that they were here.
While driving home today, my 6- and 7-year-old daughters opened up about many hurts in their hearts. I have found that car rides are the safest place, to them, to open up and chat. In this conversation there was much talk of divorce and missing their family.
We live in an era of immense hope for the future of cancer research and the quest for new and promising treatments. The identification of new genetic mutations as viable markers for therapeutic development is driving researchers and clinicians to focus on specific pathways for targeted therapies.
New memories will take the place of old ones and the old ones will tend to fade. So writing has become very important for me. If it's all written down somewhere with all the nitty-gritty details, I know I can read it for years to come and know that her memories are intact.
April 11, 2008 will always remain etched in my memory for one simple reason. It is the day that we heard the words "your daughter has cancer." They are four of the worst words that a parent could ever imagine hearing.
As time went by during my daughter Alexis' long thirty-three month battle, we found out that her tumor was growing. We found ourselves in Manhattan seeking to gain enrollment in what looked to be a potentially promising trial. But after preliminary tests we were told that Alexis was ineligible.
In the days left, we would live life in the way that Maddie loved. We would enjoy our time, and use our "forever" to miss her. She was here now and needed her little sisters, Amelia and Lucy, her family, her friends and lots of fun.
From my earliest entree into blogging in my daughter Alexis' journal, I learned quickly that the childhood cancer community was a very disorganized and dis-unified group of entities and individuals who all had the same ultimate goal: a cure.
Every parent who has lost a child to disease or some other mechanism knows this pang. In most instances, as time marches beyond the day your child passed away, these moments of blunt force trauma to the soul are brought about without any warning or advanced notice.