August 31, 2014 has come and gone. As some of you know, that date marked two years since our littlest boy was diagnosed with Cancer. If you don’t know, he was diagnosed three days shy of his third birthday.
Spencer spent his third birthday in the hospital, surrounded not only by other children that were ill, but also the kindest and sweetest staff of doctors and nurses I have encountered.
This year, as his cancerversary rolled around, yet again, I took time to contemplate all that this warrior and the rest of our warrior family has been through in the last two years. It has been more than I would have hoped for, or even wanted, in many ways. We went from a family enjoying the last weekend of our eldest son’s summertime visit to going to the doctor’s office with a little boy who was burning with fever and inconsolable in every way. At that time we were still hoping that it would be something that had a quick fix.
Instead, we joined a club that no one wants entrance into. Everyone knows someone that has or has had Cancer in some form. Most of us know more than one. And once you’ve received a diagnosis for your child, it seems that everywhere you look, there is another warrior in the club. OR, more devastatingly, you see warriors that fought one last battle and earned their wings. We were blessed to have met so many brave soldiers in the fight against cancer and I keep in my thoughts every day those friends that we have lost along the way or then new friends that lost a warrior before I ever met them.
As tragic as the stories I have heard about the angels are, I have found more hope and love from their families and friends than I could have imagined. I have spoken to parents that have been smiling amidst the tears streaming down their cheeks, telling me about how, in the midst of tragedy, jokes and optimism rang out.
And so, I can realize now how sad I was the weekend of the 30th and 31st. I don’t think it TOTALLY sunk in then, though I had a suspicion. And despite my longing to just sty at home and cuddle with Thug Monkey, who has now undergone TWO YEARS of treatment and, yet, is still not done, I packed him into the van and we went to the Windsor Fair and hung out with my sister and her co-workers from the Children’s Discovery Museum in their tent. He had a wonderful time eating cotton candy and chasing people around and playing with the animals in the touch tank. He was tired and he was sore from some of his medications and I had to give him pain meds at one point. But, in true Thug Monkey spirit, he pushed through all that and ran himself and everyone he played with ragged.
After that, we went with my sister to her apartment and hung out with my brother, other sister, and my Dad and we ate pizza. And still, he was tired but not enough so to prevent him from eating large quantities of his uncle Dan’s crab meat.
After a full day, Spencer fell asleep in the van on the way back home. He had a wonderful day. I had time to think and appreciate the fact that he still CAN have days, wonderful and not, and to remember how lucky we are.