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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm Down. Please Stop Kicking Me.

I've found that being in this position, I've had to emotionally deflect a lot of stupid comments from a lot of well-meaning -- and truthfully, some completely clueless -- folks. I've mentioned it before in as gentle a fashion as my pained, fragile soul can muster, but a handful of experiences today coupled with my whacked out postpartum hormones have compelled me to issue another reminder. So here's some of what's behind this entry and what's in my heart.

Adam realized this morning that we were running low on laundry detergent, so we took a impromptu trip to Costco to replenish the stores. A pleasant food court lunch and a quick jaunt around the warehouse later, we were standing in the check-out line. I relished the normalcy; sucked it up like the chocolate ice cream I want but can't have right now, courtesy of Brady's dairy issues.

And then the figurative ice cream cone melted and dripped all over my shoes. What I assume was a brother/sister pair, probably about 5 and 7 years old, took an interest in Isaac and followed him as he amused himself by repeatedly rounding a pole. After a few minutes, they lost interest in his antics, and turned their bemused attentions to Logan. My little sunshine wasn't wearing a hat, so his mostly bald head and the bump and tube from his shunt were clearly visible under the taut skin. The pair went quiet for a few seconds, and then began whispering to one another -- loudly -- about how weird "that boy" looked with no hair and how messed up his eye was. I don't remember their exact words and it doesn't matter; I remember how they made me feel. Terrible. Awful. Hurt. And very thankful that Logan didn't hear a word that they'd uttered, because he doesn't deserve to be victimized by such stupidity. I wanted to turn on them. I wanted to pick on the unflattering way the boy's hair laid across his own head and on the girl's tacky ensemble. Of course I didn't. But my hackles were once again raised and my near-perfect afternoon was shot.

I think we all know that kids can be mean, especially when they don't understand why a peer looks, sounds or acts differently than what social norms dictate. As they whispered, I looked around for their parents. I couldn't figure out to whom they belonged; it's probably just as well, because I'd have given them a stern lesson on educating their children about decorum, tact and respect. And my guess is that it wouldn't have been well-received. But I've grown increasingly tired of ignorance.

Parents, if you haven't already, please talk to your children about how they treat others. It's enough to go through chemotherapy and to suffer through the side effects without having ignorant, uneducated people -- some adults included -- making you feel like less of a person when your body shows signs of wear and tear. Logan is still Logan. He's still sweet, loving, compassionate and funny. I hate -- yes, hate -- that he's being judged for looking a little unusual. I know that it's hard to talk about cancer and suffering with little ones, but it's so necessary. After all, imagine how you'd feel if it were your child being ridiculed. I won't deign to speak for others here, but I'll tell you that you'd feel more defensive and protective of your child that you can even imagine feeling. EVER.

The other experience from today is related to scripture. I've said it before, but there are some passages that simply aren't comforting right now. Unless the parent in question is a true Saint, they'd never, ever be comforting to someone facing the life-threatening illness of their child. So please think before you post something that could be painful to someone else. Even if the intention is good, it can add another layer of pain to someone else's already immensely difficult journey.

Thanks, and a Happy New Year's Eve to all of you. I hope you'll continue to pray for Logan's healing as we enter 2011.


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  2. Praying hard for you Sherry. Always, always praying for Logan's healing, but I feel like it's necessary (not quite the word I want to use, but...) to pray for you. You are the mama bear having to see all the angles of this horrible battle. And, as you said, hear awful and saddening things and try to protect Logan from it. I'm praying for strength for you heart and for God to renew you each day (or MANY times a day actually!) with that hopeful spirit that is there but then is chased away by all the unknowns and fears.
    I wanted to let you know that I have been showing pictures of Logan that you post to Derek. When he prays for Logan, I not only want him to remember that Logan is sick and going through a lot of "hospital visits" and "doctor stuff" (as we simply put it to the 4 and the 2 year olds) but I want him to SEE that Logan is changing on the outside because of it. I think it's been helping Derek to see that this is much more serious that a tummy ache, or pink eye, or a fever. I think it helps him realize (at a 4 year old's viewpoint) that this is serious...and different from anything he's ever seen before.
    I, like you mentioned, wish that more parents would take the time to explain a little bit more of "life stuff" to their kids when the opportunity presents itself, but unfortunately we all know that that is frustratingly not the norm (or certainly doesn't feel like it when you're out and about doing errands). As part of my job throughout college and before kids were born I used to work with special needs kids, many with Autism. It was so irritating to me how many grown people would make rude comments or just stare at my kids when I had them out in common places for kids to be. It was truly a rare occasion to have someone actually come up and ask me why "Johnny" was acting like that (biting, screaming, hitting himself) -- but I sure appreciated it when they did and it gave me the chance to gently (and just at a basic level) educate them. It was SO much better than the looks and the rude comments.
    Anyway, point being that I agree with you and it just sucks that you are continually in this position of the added insult to injury.
    I am praying friend. Praying hard.
    Lots of love and hugs to you.