This weekend really began over a week ago when, at our annual oncology/late effects follow-up at GUH Pediatric Cancer Clinic visit we discovered that some of the GUH med students were holding a St. Baldricks fundraiser, April 1, to benefit the Palliative Care Unit at the pediatric clinic. Along with those who would shave their heads, they would also be set-up to donate hair to Locks of Love. Over the coming weekend, Sophie and I had quite a few conversations about the possibility of donating her hair at the event. This is her beloved hair that has grown, uncut, since she ended chemo in February 2007 - grown to below her waist.
Following the run, we had some brunch and then rode out the downpour and following thunderstorms on the way home and in the house. Kim and her daughter, Cecelia stayed all afternoon - this is where our conflict came in... we were supposed to go to Steph's bridal shower, but the afternoon got away from us, and we, regrettably missed it. Love you Steph - will make it up to you, promise!
The evening left us very tired... off to bed to move out again the following day. Sunday we awoke to neglected chores for all of us then off to a cub scout pack meeting - geo-cacheing at Wheaton Regional Park - the boys went for a hike and Soph and I joined friends at the carosel and train. Off to a long overdue trip to Costco and then home, just in time to grab some dinner and get to bed. Wow, what a whirlwind.
So likely - if you've made it this far - you might be wondering about the title of this post. It's kind of sums up how 'heavy' this weekend was for us all. At Ben's Run, there was an opportunity to sign up for the bone marrow registry - a service that had given Ben and many others, hope during their battle. While I was filling out the paperwork, Sophie started questioning me about the process. "Can I be a donor?" she asked. I explained that to be a donor, you have to over 18, and you can't have had cancer. This was followed with one of the most poingnant questions of my life, "Mommy, how to you not have cancer?" Wow, what a question. Until that moment, I didn't really get what it must be like to be a childhood cancer patient/survivor. I've always looked at her illness through a parents lens - empathetic to her perpsective, but never privvy to it. Sophie has never really known a life without cancer. It's simply all she knows. Wow.
So, I have no words of wisdom for this, just admiration for my strong, beautiful little girl, and gratitude for all we have... cancer and all. Peace.