Saturday, November 19, 2011

Kermit the Christian

Swallowed up by Kermit

Once again I am sitting here in our unit room staring at COP (Canada Olympic Park). It looks to be freezing outside as I watch the snow billow up from hill where they are making fresh snow. Cars continue to scurry back and forth in front of the hospital. I trumped over to the mall for an hour to clear my head and I was amazed at the number of people running around shopping. Already rude, in a hurry and frazzled. I don’t want to be a part of this aspect of Christmas. I want to be at home with my family. I want to rejoice in our gifts and our blessings. Of course those who know me know that I never say no to a shopping outing (I can hear Costco calling my name as we speak!) but I am striving to keep my shopping in check and realistic.

A few of our favorite nurses on the unit just returned from working a week at a makeshift hospital in Haiti. They told stories of children dying from a lack of supplies and resources; mothers who had not eaten in days, sleeping under cribs on pieces of cardboard because they didn’t want to leave their children. Yet these people where thankful, grateful and hopeful for the future. If only those of us who live in here in the developed part of the world had even a brief inkling of how these people live and die – life would be different. I will never again complain about the size of our room, the coarseness of the towels and the quality of the food. These are things that don’t even exist in the hospitals there – never mind walking away from a hospital with your child who will die because there were no resources to save them. God forgive me for my callousness and ignorance toward the people who live this way and I have done so little to help them.
We spent the better part of this last week battling the flu. And when I say “we” I, of course, mean Christian. My little trooper, my little frog, my little hero. It seems to be one hurdle after another for him and he continues to amaze us with his resiliency. He managed his first round of regression chemotherapy like a champ. But this darn flu bug has truly gotten the better of him. I find it so frustrating that I can’t do anything to make him feel better. We were finally admitted to the hospital on Friday after it became apparent that we could not control his sickness at home. He was severely dehydrated from throwing up and couldn’t take any medicine by mouth to help with the sickness. He has eaten and drank so little this past week that his weight has plummeted and his energy levels are about the same. He has been constantly throwing up since last Sunday evening and I wonder if there is any respite in his future?
Trying to stay warm and fight the flu
While we were at the clinic on Friday we were handed a sheet with Christian’s ‘counts’ on them (numbers informing us of how his body is responding to his chemotherapy) and it was basically zero’s down the line. Even though we know what the drugs are doing to his immune system, it is always such a shock to see that zero and to know that he has no immune system. We breath a sigh of relief when they decide to keep him knowing full well that being in the unit is the safest place for him when he is neutropeonic. Fluids, pain meds and other drugs to help him feel better are readily available so we take a deep breath and try to relax now that we have some help in getting him better. Next week we will most likely begin the process of aphoresis (harvesting his own stem cells). This involves Christian being hooked up to a very large machine that draws his blood out and removes his ‘baby red blood cells’ and then puts the blood back into his body. They then take these cells and make stem cells for him to have after his final blast of chemo. It is a very precise and complex process that will most likely be done in the ICU as he will most likely be sedated for part of the process which can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to compete.
Enjoying a horsey ride at the Millarville Christmas Market

Despite Chris and I feeling the comfort from being at the hospital, Christian is getting pretty tired of all of this – tired of feeling sick, tired of all the antics. Refusing to walk around or even participate in playing with his batman toys. I know he is extremely frustrated and bitter about being so sick. As a family we are tired of running around to and fro the hospital. Evelyn and Ryan are coping as good as little ones do - but Ryan has become very clingy and always rushes for the door when he sees someone put on their shoes – for fear of being left behind. I eagerly anticipate the days ahead when Christian wants to run around and chase his cousins with his swords and we can enjoy some family time together in our home.

Still able to be silly despite all the sickness!!!!!
For now we battle the nausea, vomiting, leg pains, tired bodies and bored brains with the promise and hope of an amazing new year. The beginning of 2012 will be scary as we look to his stem cell transplant in January. But this next year will also bring healing and hope to our family. We dream of warm beaches, white sand, cool pools, green golf courses, lots of sun and many, many more smiles and laughter. I can picture in my head Evelyn and Christian sitting at a waters edge playing with a few buckets and shovels. I can picture Christian excitedly washing his clubs and mimicking his daddy as they ready themselves for a gorgeous round of golf. I can see Ryan screeching with joy as his Nanny throws him around the water.  I can see my family coming together in a place whose beauty and peace will bring stillness to my heart. I am holding onto these thoughts in my heart and know that someday soon things will be a great deal better. Thanks for reading.

Today I am thankful for:
1.Hospitals with all the supplies you need
2. Handy Manny
3. Fuzzy green frog blankets


  1. Thanks for sharing. You each are an amazing example of God's mercy and grace showing through under pressure. I have a lot to learn from you and continue to keep you in my prayers. Keep dreaming of those warm beaches, the warm sunshine, smiles and laughter. They will come! God is faithful!! : )

  2. I soak up every word you write. Your pictures are beautiful. Your family is beautiful. Christian looks so sweet in his Kermit blanket. When I read your words, it almost seems like it is writing therapy for you and I hope that it is. You speak of the boredom and frustration and fear and I hope that in some way, this can help you to cope. To write it down and send it out into cyberspace and to get back comments from people who have read your words and have been touched by your story. Continuing to pray for you and think of you...

    Lise W.

  3. Wonderfully said, Meghan. You are so right about people living in underdeveloped countries and so thoughtful of them. I applaud your insights - into your own situation & those of others. Our hearts & prayers are with you.
    Healing hugs all around,

  4. Your blog has once again ministered to me. I wonder if you know how much your words mean to all who read them. You are amazing. And I continue to pray and hope that you will all be home and healthy for Christmas.

  5. I echo the other comments. I hope your blog is doing as much for you as it is for people across this country and further. You have such a gift for writing, Megan, of explaining things so they can be understood. Thanking God for you and your family, for your willingness to share your amazing story with us. Blessings. Patricia (Antigonish,NS)

  6. Megan: all I could think of when reading your blog was how amazing you and Chris are. Two parents who -despite the broken hearts- are
    "lights". I am so reminded of Psalm 139:16-17 "16 Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book all my days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of them existed. 17 God, how I prize your thoughts! How many of them there are!
    Megan -you are NOT alone...there is another parent along side of you and Chris "God is there"!...Lynda (Margie's Mom)

  7. Hi Megan,My prayer's are with you for Christian and your beautiful family.Thank you for sharing your heart.

  8. You and I have never met, but we share a common friend. I found about your blog through her. I have followed your blog for awhile now.
    I, too, have cancer and on my own journey of fighting this disease. There are days of complete mountain-top faith and other days filled with fear and uncertainty. Reading your blog has given me a sense of perspective and inspiration. Your insight into life as you know it now, is so raw and real. I feel your tiredness...but don't ever give up hope. Your son is amazing...and so are you and the rest of your family. Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us. You are truly one of a kind. You are all in my prayers.

  9. I have been reading Christian's story often as my kids are always asking about him! You inspire me to remember the lil' things in life that are so very important- your family is so very strong and so is that handsome, precious boy of yours! If there's anything you ever need please let me know- I'm just a few doors down! Wishing Christian and family strength and healing!
    ~Toni Hofmeister and family.

  10. Megan and Chris, I pray for healing for your little man Christian. I also send you strength and courage to brave this storm you are currently in.