One of my oldest friends is going through an incredibly hard test right now. Her little darling daughter, who just celebrated her 3rd birthday, is being very aggressively treated for Leukemia.
She is in remission, but every 3 weeks she undergoes steroid treatments. This is how she explained it to me:
“The steroids will be given Day 1-5 of every cycle until May 2012. They are an important component of the treatment protocol regardless of counts etc. The steroid she is on is Dexamethasone, a corticosteroid. It works by suppressing the activities of your immune system, which makes it useful in preventing allergic reactions to chemotherapy drugs. Dexamethasone is also used to lessen pain associated with cancers that involve immune system organs, such as lymphoma and leukemia, and alleviates inflammation. The side effects are brutal. Also, a child with leukemia on treatment cannot be given any vitamins or supplements as they may recover counts that need to be low. Basically it is this balancing act of keeping counts low, without crashing, and treating the leukemia cells.”
Though her constant posts on Facebook, Julia bravely lets the world know of her emotional anguish and her worst fears realised. BUT – my friend Julia is far from depressed, far from giving up. She is right there with her lion cub, as she refers to her courageous little Sophie.
One of her first posts, when they found out about the leukemia was that they were going to kick some “leukemia butt!” And boy have they ever! She is honest, as she is vulnerable, and oh so proud of her little girl. She embraces her circumstances and does not bemoan her situation. I am sure she would like things to be different, but even through this, Julia is able to smile,and wear her heart on her sleeve as always, making everyone she meets love her, and in turn her big, little Sophie.
Julia has given me a keener sense of appreciation for my little girls. All we want for our kids is for them to be protected from harm and for them to be healthy. If I do lose it with my girls, I always think about Julia. would she yell at her daughter like I yelled a mine today? All our kids are vulnerable, and all our kids need all our love all of the time. Tonight I never went to read Sassy a bed time story. Event though she called me. By the time I had finished having a little break, she had fallen asleep on her own. That was my missed golden opportunity for some precious alone time with her.
My dear friend and her family are standing on the vortex of their fears. They are facing this whirling squall head on. And you know what? the wind has had to back down, because they are winning!
Sophie ‘s 3rd birthday wish is to raise money for cancer research. Please click here and if you would like to make a donation.
Whether you donate or not, please keep Sophie in mind, and say a prayer for her please, for a speedy recovery.