I am/we are very thankful that September is not only the start of a new school year, but also earmarked as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. "Going Gold" this month is "shouted" from the rooftops, and many buildings are lit up around the country in support of this great cause because advocacy and awareness is key to hope, and more importantly, finding a cure some day (they are close on a few cancers).
There are no easy answers on a lot of questions swirling around the entire spectrum of Childhood Cancer, and every diagnosis of any disease in children certainly robs them of their childhood and beyond. It's heartbreaking, really. Most families strive for "normalcy" in the most crazy times of treatment and long hospital stays.
My photo below shows how we tried as a family to bring a little "normalcy" in a chaotic world when Ryan relapsed for the second time in the summer of 2004 by bringing in our dogs to the hospital. Ryan could not leave, but with "special permission" and scout's honor that both pooches would be bathed and had their teeth brushed, they could come in to see Ryan for a short time. "The Best Daughter" was thrilled to be a part of the crew to get the dogs ready to come in for a visit to Georgetown, and Ryan was equally thrilled when they stealthily entered his room. They were very good visitors and made no fuss and never barked to disturb any other patients.
It was a good day for all of us!
Photo of Ryan, Lucky, Wally and Olivia