If you know us personally, or if you’ve been reading here awhile, then you know that my niece is battling leukemia. Her diagnosis came out of the blue earlier this year, and within days of the news she started treatment. If you know anything about this battle, it’s one that doesn’t allow you to catch your breath. They say the word, and then everything changes – schedules, priorities, vocabularies. Even if you have a rare moment to stop and reflect, you still can’t catch your breath. The fear is overwhelming, and relentless. I remember my sister-in-law saying how impossible it was to process it in the beginning; there are no real choices, just a path that’s already prescribed for you. You just get on and go – there may be dozens of emotions that you barrel through each day, but indecision isn’t even an option. You just get on and go.
One of our best friends works with patients and doctor teams and research teams in this area – leukemia and lymphoma. She told us in the early days that it would be like this, and why that is a good thing. You can’t waffle, you don’t say no. You just put your head down and do it – in our niece’s case, for two and a half years. She just passed the six month mark, and she’s done remarkably well. It’s not easy, but she’s still smiling, always smiling.
Carving two and a half years out of a childhood is huge thing – a big gash. But it works. It works a lot – and her family will do anything to make it work, whatever it takes. Research and funding and hard work and smart minds and gracious families and brave children along the way have helped to define this path of treatment that improves outcomes. And that’s what it’s really all about. Because there is only one outcome that we wish for – and that she works for – every single minute of every single day.
My niece – and her team – are walking in the Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on October 12. Please consider contributing to her team to support research efforts – the link is here, and will remain at the top of the sidebar for a few weeks.
She walks this walk every single day – and anything that we can do to make it a little easier / shorter / better is great. For her, and for all the others in their own spots along this journey.