Grace is in kindergarten and loves it. She runs to class every day, often without waiting for a kiss, which is a huge contrast from the beginning of the year when she had panic attacks every morning. She has friends, plays on the jungle gym, and reads small words. She has lost three teeth and can ride a bike with training wheels. Her hair is curly again and she looks forward to braiding it.
Her brother is over his anxiety that mommy is leaving for long periods of time. He's only now experiencing the terrible twos (our therapist said the last two years were too traumatic and his survival mechanism was to be extra good. Now that he's safe again he's able to make up for lost time. Lucky us). But he also likes school, playing with cars and being "That-man"' aka "Batman."
Chad and I are being swept along in the busy river that is life. We're balancing hospital, kids, and work but having a great time of it.
One of the highlights of our Christmas this year was volunteering with the BumbleBee Foundation. They blessed us with Christmas presents and gift cards, and soon after, we were able to team up with our family (Judi, Devan and Tina) and BBF to bless another pediatric cancer family.
The mom told us she didn't have any presents for her kids as she is recently single and they spent what they had on JoJo's recent birthday. JoJo has the exact same rare cancer as Gracie, and the girls met two months into treatment at CHLA, but she's not on the same clinical trial. We were heartbroken to hear that after two years of treatment JoJo still has 10% cancer still in her body. She will be getting a month of 24-hours/day chemo to fight it. That seems an unimaginable dose, and in a six year old, and then she will have a bone marrow transplant.
I felt so broken and helpless hearing this, but knowing that we got to be a part of BumbleBee's mission to help pediatric cancer families renewed my hope and I felt like by helping I was punching cancer in the face.
And it felt good.
We wish you all a merry Christmas full of love, comfort and joy.