D Day or Diagnosis day, this is the day that exists mostly in the worst nightmeres of every parent until for some of us, the nightmare becomes reality. The day you are born again into a new world that looks similar to the one you knew before only its not, it is vastly different. We use terms like the "new normal" or "cancer journey" these terms are far too soft for my liking...This is a battle! It is an angry, sad and desperate fight for something most of us easily take for granted. Life.
Days become battlefields, life becomes a warzone and our innocent babies become unwilling soldiers. We call them "warriors" and "heroes". The truth is uglier than this. This is a battle they did not choose, that not a single one of us would have chosen for them. Never the less they must fight because for them and for us parents, there is no other option. We want our babies to live. We want what any reasonable loving parent would want, we want to watch them grow, love, play, experience every thing we now realize we may have taken for granted. For some of us this war does not have a happy ending.
My daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia the day before her 16th birthday. On that day, our family had to let go of everything we thought we knew, we put on our armour and we joined the most heart wrenching fight we knew existed but never thought about in terms of real life. We knew about other kids, the ones we had heard about, cried for and at the time thought to ourselves that this could never happen to my child... It did happen.
No one ever promised me life would be easy but I shamefully and tearfully admit that I definately took one thing for granted for many years....Life itself. Precious and delicate. I never thought of how waking up each day is truly a gift. I never thought of life as something we would have to fight for...
Many have reached out and asked how they could help and we are so touched and grateful for all of the kindness and support. The truth is that I honestly don't know what to say...nothing will change what has happened and the one thing we need is something more precious then anything.
I am not the type of person to ask for anything, today I humble myself and I ask for the most precious gift in the world: The gift of life.
Blood, platelets, stem cells. These are the gifts that have saved and sustained my child through her fight, she has had a multitude of transfusions and is still fighting because of the generousity of complete stangers who rolled up their sleeves and gave the ultimate gift.
If you would like to help us now this is how you can do it...
Give blood, give platelets, give stem cells, give life....add your name to this fight and battle alongside us and the many children who have become heartwrenching warriors in the fight for something the rest of us mostly take for granted...Life.
This is not the promised land..
We hold our little ones when they come into this world and we make our promises: unconditional love, hands that will hold, love that will always catch them, carry them when they need.
We promise days, moments, milestones, time, family vacations and endless photographs.. always with best intentions, none promised in vain.
But some of us just dont know... about this other place.
No way to prepare or to understand.
Some of us will be born again.
We will open our eyes in this new world, we the pitiful, the broken, the ones who mourn. We will walk through days and moments but all looks different here..
You have seen us here, glimpsed our fear and sent up silent prayers that you may never join us..
We who live in this strange parallel. This world that does not give back what it has taken, this world that does not look the same... Pain lives here, unrelentingly.
Times moves differently and fear coats the day and covers this world like a cloak, dimming, pervasive.
We the broken. We walk through busy halls with empty eyes seeing all we had never seen before, eyes forever opened to this world and we can no more return than we can turn back the cruel hands of time that carried us here on that fatefull day, in that fateful moment to be reborn into this place where pain and fear reside like casual tenants who greet us on arrival, wrapping icy hands around our hearts so we can barely breath.
Here, there are no promises...small mercies and frail hope carry us, we clutch them desperatly clinging to them like tiny rafts on an angry sea, pleading, praying, begging we make it through this storm.. living in this world I pray you will never know.