It's been three years since my daughter's initial cancer diagnosis. Since then, we've visited the pediatric oncology clinic for treatment, follow-up scans and meetings with her doctor. These days she is seen on a not quite monthly basis, depending on her latest scan results. It amounts to a lot of time in the waiting room.
My son was diagnosed with cancer when he was 13 months old. He had just gotten a clean bill of health at his one-year pediatrician checkup. He learned to walk about halfway into the next month. I'd weaned him by 13 months. And just a couple weeks later, on the afternoon of February 15, I discovered a lump.
When you have a child going through a serious illness, you don't want people to look away. You want people to see you, see your child. It's the only way to keep from drowning. I'm not proud that I lived in a bubble of unawareness. When I finally couldn't look away anymore, when I didn't have the choice, I learned about a lot of amazing kids. My world got wider, not smaller.