A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Hold Them Close

Grace: A Child's Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

The incidence of invasive pediatric cancers is up to 29% in the past 20 years. Source: PAC2 & CureSearch

One week from tomorrow, I will have the honor and opportunity to sit in the Reading Chair to share excerpts from my book at the Central Coast Book and Author Festival. The event takes place from 10-4 at Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo on Sunday, September 18th.  Will those of you who have read Grace please help me choose what you think would be the best passages, so that I can use my time best to raise awareness for childhood cancer? The people organizing this event had no idea that September, along with being Literacy Month, is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month as well. They do know now!

Maybe this for one… from Grace

“I heard myself groan and pried my eyes open to look at the clock. Believing it was morning, I was shocked to see it was only midnight. Ugh. I tried to adjust myself to get more comfortable, but I found my weakness overbearing. I didn’t want to move. Heck, I couldn’t move. I let out another moan. My stomach hurt so badly. The pain was nearly unbearable, like barbwire was trying to be churned up and digested in my belly. The cries and moans that escaped from my lips woke Mom, who slept on the fold-out bed nearby. As she turned to look at me, I blubbered and groaned in pain. I just couldn’t help myself—that was one of the worst moments of my life. Mom reached for my small hand that hung, motionless, over the side of the bed. The tears flowing down my cheeks settled on my pillow, making it wet and soggy. I didn’t believe where I was or how I felt. It was all too intense, too scary—too mind-blowing. Lying there, I wondered if other people besides Nurse Cyndi and Mom knew of my suffering. While I sobbed, groaned, and experienced total and complete helplessness, people were sitting on their couches watching Jay Leno with a tub of Häagen-Dazs. My mind tried to grasp this concept, but it became too exhausted and failed. Words only from hell will begin to suffice in describing how I felt that night. The only thing that gave me hope was the warm, soft touch of Mom’s hand.”              copyright Melinda Marchiano 

 As I was saying in my last post, it’s those mini-lights of love and hope that help get us through the most difficult times. If we are not careful—and grateful—we miss them all. No matter how bad things got, I had Mom’s warm hand. My message here to all of the families who feel they can do nothing to help the suffering of their beloved child who is fighting cancer is to let you know that the best thing in the world was to have someone just be with me, just love me, just hold me.

So hold them close. Know that your presence, warmth, and love are exactly what they need—even if they cannot express it.

Hold them very close.

Reefie Needs our Help

 An update for everyone who has fallen in love with Reefie:

Please continue your support for this amazingly strong and incredibly lovable boy!


by Charmeon FortheCure Carneson on Friday, September 9, 2011 at 2:29am

“OMW Dont know where to start. Ryan and Lydia are blown away. Such positivity, such incredible hope. Thank you Lord and everyone for getting him to this incredible hospital. Dr. Shah wants Reef back as soon as Novemberr as an inpatient for a week and then for an outpatient for 1 year. God knows how we are going to raise that amount of money in so short a space of time. Dr. Craig is soooo positive, says they have had worse contractions of hands and those kids are now using their hands perfectly. OPERATING WOULD BE A HUGE MISTAKE. They will have him eating, drinking talking and using his hands in a year. Dr. Shah says Cyclosporin is known to affect the hearing adversely and Reef may need to be fitted with hearing aids. The have a new drug on the market which apparently after his ONE WEEK of inpatient treatment will clear up his GVHD. GVHD WILL NOT BURN ITSELF OUT as we have been told, the contractures would only get worse and Reef would land up in a wheelchair. They are sorry that he was not seen to earlier. They have not seen a child with such bad GVHD before because they NEVER let it get this bad before treating it. REEF WILL HAVE TO HAVE ANOTHER PORT INSERTED. They also recommend that he see a pulonologist (horrified at the piece of port that is still in his chest) an opthalmologist, an orthopaedic surgeon – oh so may specialists. THEY WERE AWESOME – everything Reef had done he got a little toy, at one stage he dropped his toy, a nurse swooped down grabbed it, sterilised it and gave it back to him. GET THIS HE WILL BE ENROLLED IN SCHOOL there in December as they encourage that he mix with other children.
HE MUST NOT HAVE HIS BABY INNOCULATIONS NOW as we have been advised,. OH Lord I could ramble on here for hours – So much positivity at 2.30 am had my head reeling. Ryan will need a work permit in order to stay in the country that long. I AM IN TEARS HERE AND JUST CANT STOP – THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR GIVING REEF THIS CHANCE TO BE A NORMAL HEALTHY LITTLE BOY.”

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