Monday, February 11, 2008

"I Know How You Feel"

This is not a phrase I use often. I try to avoid it, in fact, because I think it's very rarely true.

But today, I actually had a chance to use it--and mean it.

Shortly before leaving this morning (today was radiation at 1:15 and outpatient chemo at 2:00), I got a phone call from a neighbor.

Her: "Have you heard about Jameson?"

Me: "No."

Her: "He was diagnosed with leukemia yesterday. They're at Primary Children's."

Jameson is an adorable nearly 3-year-old that lives down the street from us. He has Down Syndrome, which I learned today puts him at a higher risk for leukemia. (Interestingly enough, the same genetic mutation that puts Down Syndrome children at higher risk also makes them more likely to respond well to treatment and recover fully.) The family was happy to learn that he has ALL, which is the most treatable form of childhood leukemia. Still, it's going to be a long road--much longer than ours. After 7 months of various phases of treatment, he'll go into maintenance phase which will last . . . wait for it . . .

3 years!

Suddenly, 42 weeks seems like nothing :)

Jacob and I went by after chemo today (Jameson was in the room next to the one where Jacob spent the night two weeks ago). The first thing Cindy said to me was, "I was thinking that if anyone knows how I feel right now, it's Laura."

I wish it weren't so. I wish no mother ever had to feel like I did six weeks ago.

But hopefully, I can help her see that it gets better.

And Jacob can show Jameson that being bald isn't the worst thing in the world.

1 comment:

MiddleEastMama said...

You are talking about Cindy Jones? I am horrified. I had no idea.

You are right: I DON'T know how you feel. I watched my friend struggle with her little daughter, whose first year of life was touch-and-go every day, and told her later, "I feel that what you've been through has taken you down a road and far away from me."

So thank you, so much, for your posts. It makes me feel like I can experience a bit of that road with you.