I don't believe I've ever shared this picture as I only recently scanned it. I LOVE the girls' expressions here. They kept those same, "Oh no! We were having so much fun and we just got caught" expressions on their faces until the very end! Some times they would get to giggling and laughing and carrying on so much until they knew I was coming to "stop the party" and then this would be what I'd see. Oh, I'd do ANYTHING to have another moment like that where I'd ask them what was so funny and then would often laugh with them myself!
While I try not to closely follow “cancer kids” because it is consuming and heartbreaking, I did receive two emails yesterday about two Neuroblastoma children who died within hours of each other. I still cannot believe it. It's sickening!
I had not checked Janie’s website, or emailed with her mother, in at least a year. She had been doing great. What a shock to learn of her death. Christi and I first met sweet, little Janie in the summer of 2005 when Christi and I were staying at the Ronald McDonald House. I’ll never forget my first words to Janie’s brilliant mother. “How did you get here so quickly?” This amazingly intelligent mother was impressive! Within weeks of Janie’s diagnosis, she found MSKCC and CHOP! Impressive!
Over the past three years, Janie treated at both of them, as well as her own hospital. She was NED (in remission) the last I knew. Unfortunately, this news just reminds me that these NBIV kids, diagnosed after the age of 2, really do not have a prayer. During our tough days at CHOP, back in the winter of 2006, Janie was across the hall in one of her transplants. Colleen kept me going and we enjoyed waving and peeking in on precious Janie when taking a break from Christi’s room. Now I tell myself Christi is tending to another little one, probably reading to her, getting her art supplies and finding kittens and ponies for Janie to see. When Shayla came back from the barn on Wednesday night, she looked at me and said, “What’s wrong? I thought you were working on your paper?” I told her about Janie going to be with Christi and she asked what she always asks when she learns of dead children. “How old was she?”
I never met Dustin, but emailed with his mother many times as our children endured many of the same clinical trials. He was diagnosed about a year before Christi and was always in treatment. His mom should rest assured that she did everything humanly possible to extend his life here on earth and she did that! Dustin knows he was loved and that he will always be missed. The hole in his mother’s heart will never leave her.
If you’d like to leave a message of sympathy for Janie and Dustin’s families, their websites are listed here:
Here's another one of those "Having too much fun" espressions!
In just a few hours, I will have re-read my question three (again, again, again) and I will submit it to my Faculty Advisor. I don’t receive question four…….until Monday! I’ll enjoy this break while I can.
Last night found us out at the fairgrounds for their fourth and final “Rabbit Clinic” where Shayla has been learning how to show her rabbit. Swiffer is an incredible rabbit, just sitting there soaking up the attention and letting her “flip it” and do the checking (or whatever it is called). Hopefully, he’ll be that good for her at the fair for the competition and regardless, she’s enjoyed spending extra time with him. We’ve learned a lot!
While we were at the bunny practice, Paw Paw and Shayne got Skeeter’s stall ready for the fair. He’s got a great fan hanging, all boards were fixed, nails were removed and the darling 4H sign hangs out front. The night before, her grandma Nee Nee went with them out to the barn and she scrubbed up Skeeter’s saddle so it looks as good as new. With new show boots and Traci’s black hat we will work a gold ribbon around today, she’s all ready to go on Monday morning. We work to get more things ready at the fair on Saturday and then move the animals in on Sunday…….do I really have my next question coming on fair week? Yes, that’s true! (It’s ok. Rumor has it this will be the easiest of the four and should just require about ten pages of writing! I'm thinking after writing nearly 100 pages this summer I should be able to just "cough out" 10! hee hee!)
(PIC: The girls at the Columbus Museum of Art, 2001. They loved going there!)