May 25, 2018- Exactly one year ago today the hell that is cancer struck our family.

A year ago at 830am I got the call to come in to discuss Bennett’s bloodwork asap...and that I needed to bring my husband. I could hear the pity in the receptionist’s voice and I didn’t even bother asking her what was going on, I knew it was bad. I knew it was bad when the doctor had ordered bloodwork after Matt had brought him in the day before...

A year ago that I drove in a blur of tears and panic to the doctor’s office...with Bennett in the backseat... worry on his sweet little face... I remember praying over and over, begging that whatever it was - that it was treatable...hurrying to meet Matt who left his job site early. Little did we know that would be the last time Matt would be able to work for that company...

A year ago that we were waiting in the outer-space themed exam room at the pediatrics office...one we’d been to countless times before for check-ups and simple illnesses... hearing Dr Pete tell us very plainly ‘Bennett has leukemia’ I knew it. I think I even said that out loud. One of my worst fears had come true. Our 5-year old has cancer. Cancer! I don’t even like saying that word...still don’t. Dr Pete told us to head up to Stanford immediately... they had already called the ER and they were expecting us. We had NO idea what we were in for. I remember walking out with Matt... tears streaming, clutching my sweet little boy who was now in a fight for his life. Five years old with leukemia. How were we going to handle this?!?!

Months blurred by...our family spent more time apart than together, we learned how to read blood counts, we navigated chemo side effects, we pushed Bennett over and over and over to take his meds, we figured out how to get through hospital life-thankful for any time we could be at home... wondering if we would ever be able to feel normal again. 

Things over this year have changed so much for us as a family and individually... some for the worse, some for the better. We have friends who have become like family... friends that have stepped up to help us in countless ways. We have become endlessly grateful for simple nights and days at home... days when Bennett is able to be at school and feel like a regular kid...glimpses of what life is like for most families. We’ve learned to manage and cope through exhaustion and worry. 

We are thankful, SO thankful, that Bennett is feeling good and is going to be able to finish his Kinder year stronger than when he started. And yet, we still can’t relax completely - we still have to be vigilant... fevers still come with an ER visit, we still have to be careful about germs and illnesses around Bennett and there are still so many meds to track it makes me panicky when I really stop to think about it. We are hopeful for the future, starting to once again plan for Bennett beyond just clinic visits and hospital stays. Hoping and praying the worst of this is over so can figure out our new normal and get back to living again!

We have been celebrating our sweet boy this weekend, especially today... feeling the happiness at being together away from home! Here’s to many more happier May 25ths from here on out!

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BENNETT'S story

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