Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Why do you Relay?

There are many foundations out there. They choose where the money you raise for them is used and how. We all have choices. I choose to give my energy in a few places. This is just one. A really good one. CureSearch is essentially COG; Children's Oncology Group. Google, oogle  and smoogle..this is where it counts people.

I don't.

I did.

Once. I knew I wanted to raise money for childhood cancer research and make others aware of how many people cancer effects. Young and old Survivors, caregivers abound. But Then I started poking around and found out that Relay; American Cancer Society gives our bald children 3 pennies to split between ALL PEDIATRIC CANCERS!!! So I looked further into other "areas" for us to push efforts towards.

So, why would you Relay?

We can raise some serious dollars in the name of our children by CureSearching. Yes, CureSearch uses 97 cents of every dollar raised for research and education for our hairless babes. WOW. Overcompensating for something? Naw, it's what should happen in the case of the ever rising cases of pediatric cancer each year. You know, the #1 cause of death by disease in children. And if we don't fund the Children's Oncology Group, who will?

Don't ask the government. I mean you can, CureSearch does with many parents beside them in DC every year, but they are all tied up at the moment, spending money on deciding which program to cut next.

Ask your friends, family and your fb world. Ask your church, schools and the strangers that come to your yard sales...put up signs, create a collection jar at your home events or parties...I'm sure that jar will be full at the end of the night, just like bellies of your guests that are eating your delicious food and being entertained free of charge.

If you are into playing a good game of kickity-kickball, CureSearch has that to offer too. If you have children in school, approach your child's teacher with this. Good for school going kids of all ages. Yes, you hipster college young adult, working hard to bring it back old school, you can tell your parents "it's for a good cause" and mean it.

For the outdoor enthusiasts, there is even a full day hiking event. Two of us Red Dye Moms are going to raise money for an Ultimate Hike over the next few months, for an October event. Yes, we're taking bets on who can make it further. There is the "baby hike", which is half of the 28.3 mile Ultimate Hike. I will probably have to hang up my flops and find something to support my ankles, but this girl could use a great reason to buy a new pair of boots. I understand the day prior and the day after is a bit of a food party. I'm in, in innedy-in. And if you want to place a bet on your horse, we'll post a link in the near future for the two mamas putting on their hiking boots and packing their granola for the bald babes.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Living in the Middle

You met me at a really strange time in my life.

I'm not in the throes of it all, but I'm not so far away that I can't still smell it wafting through the air. I don't know if I'll ever get that foul stench off my jacket.

I'm living in the middle, but it's hard to walk that tightrope.

I keep making plans for the future. The distant future. The future where our kids will have to fill out their own medical histories and will have learned to spell all of those things that once coursed through their veins. The future where there are graduation parties and weddings and grand babies.

The future where they take us, old and fragile, to the doctor. The future where they plan our funerals, and not the other way around.

But part of moving ahead is knowing where you've been, so I can't let myself get too comfortable daydreaming.

I don't want to think about it coming back, but that doesn't stop my mind from going there. The further out you get, the chances of it returning go down. But that isn't much comfort for the parent whose child happened upon it in the first place. Chances were slim back then, too.

There's only one thing I know for sure: no amount of shampoo is going to get that smell out of your hair.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

All Aboard the Donut Ride

Dumbledore shares with us the difference in perspective between mother and child on scan day.

Little Warrior, age 5, is very excited about tomorrow. She has tried on several outfits, discarding those with metal snaps or metallic glitter, trying to find just the perfect one for her outing. “I need to have a snack before I go to bed,” she reminds me. She’s giddy. She can’t wait. Tomorrow, she gets to go on “the donut ride.”

Looking through my eyes: tomorrow, we will get up at the insane hour of 5 am and drive down to the hospital where we have spent a significant amount of time and money over the last 5 years. Tomorrow, Little Warrior will be NPO – no food or drink. Tomorrow, Little Warrior has scans, and an echocardiogram. Tomorrow, she’ll have a needle jammed in her arm, and will have to drink 3 cups of contrast. Tomorrow is the first time she’s gone a whole 6 months between scans. Tomorrow, our lives could completely change. Again.

Looking through her eyes: tomorrow, we’ll get up early and drive to where she’s had a lot of fun, and see people she really likes, like Dr. M. She’ll get to drink 3 cups of Sprite, and watch tv, and then she gets to go on the “donut ride,” that slides back and forth. She’ll get lots of praise, and stickers, and probably even a little toy, because she’s so good at doing things like being still and holding her breath. And when they put the iv in, she’ll get to show them how she doesn’t even flinch! Doesn’t even say “ow!” And then we’ll go get a real donut, and chocolate milk. And then she gets to lie in the dark and watch the Disney channel while someone slides something across her chest. And THEN, we get to go to the cancer clinic, and sometimes there’s art people there! Or musicians! And all the nurses will talk about how much she’s grown. And she’ll get to see Dr. M, who will want to know about how’s she’s been. She’s so excited, she’s planning on sleeping in her shoes.

Cancer Parents, this is for you. We have so much to worry about. But you maybe can mark “crush her spirit,” or “make him fearful,” or “traumatize them,” off your list. This is their journey. And hopefully, they look at it with different eyes than we do.

We are happy to report that Little Warrior is still NED!