About Us

Our family of 6 (dad Adam, mom Sherry, big sister Abby and little brothers Isaac and Brady -- who was born on December 14, 2010) joined the ranks of pediatric cancer fighters when our 4-year old son Logan was diagnosed with a dangerous and highly malignant form of brain cancer in mid-August 2010. Logan's cancer journey began abruptly on Sunday, August 15, when his right eye suddenly turned inward during dinner. Twenty-four hours later, we were checking into Children's Hospital Oakland and finding out that life sometimes takes you places you'd never, ever imagine yourself going.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The (Big) Small Things, 10/12/10

Okay, so I may have fibbed a little last night. In the heat of emotion and the darkness of my oppressively quiet bedroom, I said I couldn't pray. I wouldn't. I crossed my little arms and stamped my little feet and then threw what amounted to a tantrum of words. But the truth is that I was still very much in contact with God. Angry, yelling, pleading contact, begging for any tiny ounce of hope, any scrap of positive news on which I could hang my heavy hat. And small though it is, I got a little nugget.

This morning, Logan's WBC count was up to .2 from its usual sub .1 post-chemo resting place. I was sitting in my car in the McDonalds parking lot peeling a game piece from my cup (still no great prizes, but enough free fries to anchor a barge) when I checked my email and got the 'oh, and by the way...' note from Adam. And I started bawling. Over a WBC count of 200. Just for reference, a normal WBC count ranges from 5,000 to 12,000. But 200 suggests that recovery is on the radar, and after begging and pleading for some sort of sign, some sort of news, I'll take a small rise in WBC as acknowledgement of my request. Just now, I touched my pocket and felt the 'healing' stone I forgot that I'd placed inside it before leaving the house earlier today: Another little bit of confirmation that I need to hold onto hope when everything seems so very dark.

As another plus, thanks to the strike, our nurse today is Philippa, which is fabulous. She's a wealth of information, so we love having such a direct line to her ear for the day.

In case you're wondering, I feel like a yo-yo these days, swinging back and forth from one emotional extreme to the other. The past few days were hard for a few reasons. For one, the week after chemo administration is awful. The side effects are brutal and it's painful to watching suffering of that magnitude in someone you love so much. For another, I made the error of losing hope and focusing on the potential 'bad' outcomes. And when I do that, evil is quick to sandbag me with my own fears and frustrations: The uncertainty, the worry, the irritations, all of the things that by themselves are manageable, but when combined, are suffocating. Brick by brick, they erect a wall in my heart that prevents me from seeing the good, the promising. I need to do a better job of guarding my heart, since I know that mental weakness can lead to all sorts of ill effects. Of course, that's all easier said than done: It's hard to keep faith when things look grim and scary, and it's even harder when you're emotionally and physically spent, when you get no weekends, and when you feel as if you're constantly choosing between one must-do and another must-do. I've never claimed to be perfect -- I'm far from it! -- but it's hard to feel like you're not fulfilling your basic life obligations. It hurts your sense of self and makes you feel like less of a person.

So anyway, that's this afternoon's little nugget. I still have no idea when we're going to get to go home. His counts need to be on the rose (which they are as of today -- check!) and he also needs to be feverless, which we're still working on. (He seems to spike one every afternoon at around 4 PM.) I'm still dealing with the nurses' strike, which is going on right outside our window, five stories down. They were out picketing this morning when I got here, waving their signs and laughing and giggling and talking about nonsensical things. I just put my sunglasses on and headed across the road to the hospital without acknowledging any of the hubbub. The honking outside the window and the occasional flare up of a megaphone is annoying, but it is what it is: You can't make someone believe that they're being stupid and selfish if they think they're right. And I don't speak in ignorance when it comes to this particular strike; I asked one of our nurses about it a few days ago, and the primary grievance of the union is, to be blunt, ridiculous. And it shows them to be completely out of touch with the current economic climate. But again, it is what it is.

Remember to be grateful for the little things. And keep praying for Logan to beat this ugly thing.

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