8 months.....

It has been 8 long months so far of treatment with many more to go.  The finish line is so far out and while what quite possibly is the worst of it is behind us the end is still 19 months out.  I have been struggling lately as I watch and hear about others who have started their childrens treatment after us and are finishing it long before we will.  It is a sickening mix of emotions as I am thrilled for their victory but in all honesty envious that they are reaching the finish line so much sooner than us. 


  1. Beth Z2:29 PM

    Hi Jen. My heart goes out to you knowing that it is hard to endure the constant stress of battling leukemia. I can say I have heard parents with your perspective before, thinking that their child has a harder cancer. The only cancer that seems "easy" to me really is standard ALL, requiring only a monthly clinic visit, having beautiful odds, excellent support and a lot of freedom, even if it does go on for years. Others though, such as Tucker and frankly, nearly everyone else I've seen on the inpatient side, aren't quite so relatively "lucky". I'm sure that from some peoples' points of view, Cy having to be inpatient for 6 months straight seems like a relatively quick treatment, but I can assure you that living at Doernbecher like that is not the same as being allowed to leave for a good portion of that time. Comparing cases based on the calendar may not be all that helpful. And even though there are no plans for Cy or perhaps another transplant patient to have any further chemotherapy, radiation or transplant, he is by no means done, and will be affected for the rest of his life by the treatment and the limitations he must now live within because of it.

    If someone shares that they are "done" with treatment in just a few short months, I can tell you this: I have seen people celebrate their victory and I bask in it with them, never to see them on the inpatient side again, although that is from a 6 month perspective. I've seen families face the excruciating and threatening scenario of relapse. I have seen families face what will be months and months surgeries, weeks of radiation and chemotherapy together with dismal odds for their child. I know of children who have died in those six months. Being in for such a sustained time allowed me to be acquainted with many families and their unique stories, and to learn about the specifics of their child's cancers. If it helps you find comfort, I encourage you to read more about some of the other major childhood cancers - neuroblastoma, osteosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, retinoblastoma, pinealoblastoma, medulloblastoma, T-cell ALL, and AML. I can tell you with confidence that nobody gets away from this beast in just a few months really. I hope you are not witness to the ravages and tragedies of others any more than you have to be, but if it brings you comfort, you might seek more information about these other cancers to help you grasp what most other families from the inpatient side must face.

  2. My post is not to discount what others go through and I know with out a doubt that the battle truely is never "done". I guess I am referring more to not being eligible for a transplant as well as pumping chemo into my son. Seeing him sick,weak and hurting. I look forward to the days when Tucker doesn't have to go through that and pray that when it is done that it never comes back so that he never has to have chemotherapy again. I spent nearly the first four months of treatment with Tucker in the hospital with little more than 3-4 days a month out. It is very isolating but with out sounding harsh I sometimes feel like I would have rather been up there for 6 months straight and not do Chemo anymore than have to face another 18 months of it. It is all relative to each case, there really is no way for me to know if having the transplant would have been or worked out better than what we are going through now. That is why I struggle with my feelings. These children are true warriors, no ones fight should be discounted at all.


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