Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quiet, Dark Nights

Catching a quick nap before chemo begins

I am sitting in Christian’s hospital room, its midnight and I have a fantastic view to the west of the lights of COP and the mountains.  It is pretty quiet on unit 1 at this time of night so there is a lot of time for reflection and prayer.  We had a great day today in the HOT (hemotology, oncology, transplant) clinic where Christian got his large dose of chemotherapy. We then spend the next 24 hours on the pediatric oncology ward while they infuse his body with fluid so he can properly cleanse his body of the poison.  Two words which just seem wrong to be together: Pediatric and Oncology. I still can’t believe that I am sitting here.  In this situation I find myself reaching for any kind of peace and hope that is offered or extended to me. So I revert to one of the first days we spent on unit 1. We had an amazing nurse (Chris likes to say its because she is a Maritimer!) who spent some time sitting and just talking to me, in fact I think it was a night like this – late and quiet and too much time for thinking.  When first diagnosed there is so much information that a parent needs to digest and the staff here are great at giving it to you in small doses so that your brain doesn't explode.  So our lovely “Eastern” nurse was coddling me through some really difficult questions. Is Christian going to get better? Are we going to be able to take care of him at home? How fast does the chemo work? Could this get any worse? And I remember her words almost verbatim, she said that given a choice between pediatric and adult cancer that she would choose pediatric cancer.  I was sure she was just saying this to make me stop crying and I didn't belive her for a second. Then she explained how amazing the progress in research and treatment has been around pediatric cancers. The survival rate, which used to be around 20% in the 50’s is now 80% in the 21st century. She then reminded me of the resiliency of children and their ability to fight and recover and never feel too much loathing for themselves. As adults we know there would be much bitching and moaning about how we were feeling.  Kids just seem to deal with it like there is no other option but to be positive.  So I regress to an earlier blog… There is HOPE. At least that is how I see it.  Now Christian does get tired and when he gets tired he gets grumpy and when he get grumpy – watch out! For instance he spent the better part of last night at the bottom of Chris and mines bed underneath the blankets screaming. Not in pain but in I think in frustration. And I say, “hey – giver’ heck” because I think if I were Christian and I had to deal with what he would be dealing with I would have been screaming all along.   

The ultrasound room - where we found out Christian had a stomach tumor - 7 weeks ago

We have had so many good days and it seems that Christian is getting so much better.  His favorite past time is going to the driving range with his dad and papa Norm. Since the weather has cleared he enjoys going outside and shooting hoops with his cousins – thanks boys! – and playing hockey with anybody who will pick up a stick with him.  His activity level is increasing and this is so uplifting for me coming from the days when I was elated if I saw him smile.  We have come so far in just 7 weeks. The tumor seems to be shrinking all the time as I can barely feel it now with my hands.  So for the time being our prayers our being heard and we are doing well.  So many thanks to throw out – I think I will wait until the next blog as the words to express myself seem absent at this moment. Nighty night


  1. Thank you so much Megan for writing all this down. I know it helps me understand and stay updated on what is going on. I am starting to think your missed you calling (this is written so well and right from your heart thanks for sharing love you

  2. There is always hope. And God is always listening. And when you haven't the strength to pray and you can't find the words, know that others are standing in the gap praying for you.
    Nancy F.

  3. Kids are AMAZING! Totally inspiring.

  4. Children are our number 1 inspiration and the 1 little pleasure the world has left that we can truly hold dear to our hearts. Christian will make you stronger when you feel weak, even when you do not realize it. He will be that 1 smile when you cannot seem to find a reason to. You will make Christian stronger when he is weak. You are his reason to smile. Christian is very lucky to have such a loving family. This can only help him get better faster. I send love and healing energy to Christian. I send love and positive energy to you all. God Speed.

  5. Christian will win his fight against cancer and it will be largely because of his loving family and the wonderful professionals looking after him. You go, Christian, and show them what you are made of. You don't need a cape to be a hero.. you need to be a little boy with a big heart. Christian, you are my hero and wish you only well being and happiness. <3