Thank you for taking time to follow Meaghan's journey of healing as she battles Medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer.

Meaghan, our five year old daughter, was diagnosed early November 2009 after an MRI revealed she had a 4 cm solid tumor in her cerebellum. The tumor resection, while successful, resulted in serious complications.

Cancer is a family affair and here I try to chronicle not only Meg's journey, but our whole family's as well.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s so difficult to believe where we are a year later: Meaghan is talking, using a walker, attempting visits to school. This time last year, we hadn’t even begun her radio chemotherapy let alone her nine cycles of “maintenance” chemo. God willing, we only have two cycles remaining!

Those of you who have been following Meaghan closely are aware of her numerous and lengthy unscheduled hospital stays for a myriad of chemo related complications. There have been weeks at a time filled with uncertainty, fear, bitterness. It would be lovely to say those times are forever behind us. I cannot make those guarantees for my daughter or my family. I can say with certainty that our lives have been deeply enriched by this experience; this experience that I would not wish on my mortal enemy, let alone my baby girl. Our lives are now filled with a growing family, our Cancer Family.

We grow to love these children and their families as our own. We follow their stories, rejoicing and grieving with them. It’s a different life now, a more painful and joyful one. Sometimes Ed will walk in the door after work, we’ll fall into a deep hug and I can only utter a name repeatedly: Brendan, Max, Lyssie, Michael, Nate, Charlotte, Noah, Emily, Samuel… These represent only a fraction of my “other children,” but when they are struggling or worse, have passed away, I feel the pain so deeply.

Despite all the pain our warrior children endure, our lives have indeed been enriched and blessed by them more than I could have ever thought possible. And I am thankful for each and every one of them.

Meaghan’s treatment comes with no guarantees. She could relapse or recur at any time. She may or may not win the battle. She may or may not go to college. She may or may not live a “normal life.” Right now, we feel she is doing beautifully. Sure, she can’t make a decision to save her life, literally. Sure, she can’t toilet by herself or walk or run or jump or spell her last name. But! But, she can laugh and eat; snuggle with her puppy and swim and ride her special trike and play Barbies and boardgames. She can hug us; tell us she loves us. She can remember things that make her happy or sad. She can get excited and motivated about things she wants to do or places she wants to go. She can handle three hours of consecutive therapy for three days a week and still come home wanting to play. She can ask us to snuggle under the covers with her and read with her. She tells her brother and sister she loves them and they reply in kind.

How can we not be filled with thanksgiving with a life like this?

So on this night of Thanksgiving, feel with gratitude the breath you are able to take into your lungs. And tell someone you are thankful for them.

May God bless you!

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