Tag Archives: Cancer Sucks

September Is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I was reminded of this by a blog post on An Ordinary Mom. I liked her approach of telling the story through previous posts so I am going to do the same. First I will start with a picture of Philip at age three and a half receiving treatment.

Philip Age 3 and a half
Philip age 3 1/2 receiving treatment

Although she ended with the video I am going to start with. It is hard hitting at the start as is a cancer diagnoses but it ends with hope.

As some of you know my oldest son Philip is a two time cancer survivor. The first part of his story is under I too know too many names.  As the video says it is very hard to explain the whirlwind of emotions getting that diagnosis

Philip Transplant

The second post I wrote was to get people to vote on contest where Pepsi was donating money to a cause based on votes. They ended up winning. Anyways I wrote a post called Scariest Day.  It was probably the closest he came to dying. Too many of the families that were there during our treatment lost kids to cancer.

Scanner

We are now four and a half year off treatment and five and a half years cancer free. So we now only get the scans once a year. When I wrote the next post we were getting them every six months. Before that we were getting them every three months. Scans, Kids Cancer and Stress

audiogram
Philip’s Audiogram

The video talks about some of the side effects of treatment. Hearing loss is the price we paid for our son’s health. Some of the chemo and more powerful anti-biotics damaged his high frequency hearing. I did talk about it a bit last year when we got him a hearing aid. Homeschooling Journal Week 24. Some of the kids ended up with much worse permanent disabilities. The one that got me the worst was walking into play area to see a teenager missing most of his leg with his foot attached on backwards where his knee should be. Later I found out that they could use his ankle, reversed, as a replacement knee.

One thing they didn’t mention is the mental burden these kids deal with. Last year we came to the realization that Philip was fighting some internal battles in regards to the death of kids he had played with in the hospital and considered friends. One in particular he remembered was Connor. They played video games frequently while they were in-patients at the hospital. Connor passed away just short of his 18th birthday. We always felt that Philip deserved the truth and never hid anything from him. I still believe that was the right decision but it did put some very heavy loads on his shoulders. I discussed this in two blog posts last year: Homeschool Journal Week 3 and Homeschool Journal Week 4.

I am listing the two charities listed by An Ordinary Mom. They are St. Baldrick’s and CureSearch. I am familiar with both and both do excellent work. Both are US based. For those like me and are in Canada, Childhood Cancer Canada Foundation is also good one. Thank you.

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Homeschooling Journal Week 12

In my life this week…

The big thing for me this week is that I cleaned out the fridge. It is always so nice to have a sparkling clean fridge where you can find stuff and there is no guess the contents of the container or the “is this still ok to eat” questions.

My wife cleaned out the freezer in preparation of our half a cow arriving. THANK YOU. I can’t wait to have a variety of cuts again. Right now we mostly buy ground beef and cheap roasts.

We have also restarted Tae Kwon Do. It is nice to be back at it but since I haven’t done it in 6 months the first day left me pretty sore. My son of course just dove straight in with no problems.

This was lighthearted fun week and that is what is expressed in most of this post. On Thursday night I learned that one of kids fighting cancer that I have been following was not going to make it. The prayer section is for him and is part of the reason I am later than normal in writing this post.

In our homeschool this week…

More of the same. I am continuing my search for Canadian Explorers material and have develop a little bit of my own. I am feeling that we need an achievement badge system for homeschooling parents. I’m a newbie so feel free to add to this list.

Committed – Sign the papers or buy your curriculum. Something that shows you have made a commitment to homeschool.

Mentor – Help someone else learn about homeschooling.

Best for my child – Replace curriculum because it just wasn’t working for your child.

Blog – Start a homeschooling blog.

Arrgg! I can’t find anything I like – Make your own curriculum material.

Now we need someone with artistic talent to make up the badges. I feel like I have passed a number of milestones on this journey and I’m only 3 months into it.

My favorite thing this week was…

We learned the importance of doing some reading aloud. My daughter was reading the special days on the calendar,

“Children’s Day, Remembrance Day, Veteran’s Day, Electrician’s Day”

“Wait what?! “

“Electrician’s Day” she repeated pointing.

“Oh Election Day”

I’m cooking…

This weeks big item was a Lasagna. Two things coincided to bring this on. First my wife bough me a new lasagna pan and it is wonderful. It fits 4 of those box noodles across and is just long enough. Best it is deep enough for someone like me that goes overboard. Second was last week while shopping I accidentally picked up cottage cheese instead of sour cream. I’m blaming the no name brand with all similar containers for the mix up. Although for this size lasagna I really need a second container of cottage cheese. Still it was 2 dinners and a number of lunches.

lasanga

It also time to start Christmas cookies. I will have to post the recipes as one is gluten free and the other could be easily converted. We don’t have any gluten problems in our family but two of our friends have family members with Celiac. So we understand how hard it is to find gluten free stuff.

I’m praying for…

Tenney Little. I have been following his story since September after reading about him on An Ordinary Mom. Doctors have given him only 24 to 72 hours. As his mom said “Today we are grateful that there is no cancer in heaven”

As a lot of you know my son is a two time cancer survivor. In following other kids I have heard that last sentence in various forms too many times. It is true but it does little to easy the pain felt by family and friends here on Earth. Tenney has been in my prayers since September and remains in my prayers. Miracles do happen, very rarely but they do happen. The family has also been in my prayer and they are the ones who will need support the most. Particularly I pray for Tenney’s little brother Henry.

This section has taken longer to write than the rest of the article combined. Each time I read of another little one losing their battle it tears the scabs off the memories off all the other kids that didn’t make it. There is so much more to say and words truly are not enough.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

You know you are a SAHD when your wife gets you a new lasagna pan and you are overjoyed with it.

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My Son’s Speach for the Terry Fox Run

This morning my son got to do an announcement at his school for The Terry Fox Run. He did very well and spoke clearly. Below is his announcement.

Hello my name is Philip and I am a Cancer Survivor.

When I was 3 and a half I was diagnosed with a cancer called neuroblastoma.
I went through 6 rounds of chemo-therapy that made my hair fall out,
a 7 hour surgery to remove the tumour,
some rounds of radiation,
many blood transfusions and pokes with needles.

Why is the Terry Fox run important?

The money they raise goes towards research into better ways to treat cancer.
When Terry Fox did his run 31 years ago
only 1 kid in a 100 survived the cancer I had.
When I was diagnosed 1 kid in 5 survived it.
Now 1 in 3 survive.

The money raised from this run
will allow researchers to improve those odds even more
so more kids will survive cancer.