Category: childhood cancer

inside out

Its a grind for us all right now. Just passing our 2 year anniversary of her diagnosis and birthday. Its like the start of our really hard time. And frankly we just really don’t want to do it. I am mad. I am angry. I have done this all before and I just don’t want to have to do it all again. Now its not the fear of the unknown.. It’s the known. But we already did it. We already had a Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years Eve without her.. And I don’t want to have to face it again. Halloween was good. We had fun. .. But it was so hard. A grind. Like gravity is so much stronger right now. This force and pull pushing and forcing me down. I should say us. Because my husband .. He is struggling too.. For all the same reasons. Its[…]

Guest Blog: Carmen Murray

October was about Jennifer. Thank you for that. It was this mothers hope that my daughter could motivate and inspire .. “forTHEMbecauseofher” but I have so many more children that make up my “her” The kids that motivate and inspire me to fight for a cure. Kids that make me want to be a better mom in every way..  This month we are honored to introduce you (both through blogs and social media) to just a few of these children.  Allow me to introduce Carmen and Ty. Carmen is one of our board members and a woman I am proud to call my friend and Ty…. Ty is simply incredible.  “But your son is all better now….. because he doesn’t have cancer anymore right?” I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this phrase or something similar to it after people find out about my son’s battle with cancer.  While I totally understand why someone[…]

back home

Children are resilient. But they are also vulnerable and trusting. They believe. They hope. They try to make things right. Jennifer always did. She fought. She hoped. She trusted. Children are supposed to be innocent. I stole my 4 year olds innocence. .. Another piece of it at least.. I had to rip more of it away from him. I get told not to put my grief on them. To not misplace my feelings as theirs. They are so young they won’t remember. They barely knew her .. or never knew her.  That my kids are innocent. But they aren’t. Cancer. Her death. Lack of funding. It stole their innocence. Charlotte was only 9 months .. and Bridgette wasn’t even born yet. .. The boys decided to donate their birthdays to Unravel. Instead of presents from friends they asked for donations they could make to save other kids. One thing[…]

lucille packard

I’ve made the drive many times in my life .. Yesterday making it memories flooded back. Jonathan needs a hernia surgery. His pediatrician referred us to Lucille Packard. Its scheduled for first thing Friday morning. Initially on the drive yesterday I remembered the evening we first made the trip for Jennifer. Lost trying to find our way to the emergency room. How big and foreign the hospital looked. .. I still can’t believe that just a few weeks later I would know many of the hallways of this place.. That my almost 6 year old would also. How in the beginning we ate at one cafeteria but eventually decided the bigger one.. the one connected to Stanford was better food for her. So we would go there. I had the same breakfast every morning .. after she was out of radiation. I thought about getting it tomorrow. A yogurt parfait with soggy[…]

train is coming

Her birthday is coming. Like a fucking train. I am staring at a train, barreling right for us and I cannot get us out of the way. I want so desperately to make it a celebration for her .. for them too.. But I don’t know how. I am crippled from the pain right now. I feel like a failure. I couldn’t keep her alive. And I can’t feel joy in the blessing of 6 years with her. All I can see right now is the nearly 1 year 8 months I have endured without her. Dear God… That’s a long time. no. no. no. It can’t be real. I think maybe this all started in counseling.. When Tony said something had been changed for 5 years.. And my immediate thought was no. No. Maybe 1.5-2 yrs at most. But instead I just started crying. Because he was right. Because[…]

bucket with holes

I am trying so hard. To keep afloat. To not drown or go all the way under. But I don’t think I can. I just miss her so much. I want to be alone. Just locked inside this house.. Just be home. Doing nothing. Just us. I want to grab them all and just run away. I don’t want Tony to go to work.. or Jonathan to go to school. .. I want to just be near each other. But for them I try. ..  I do. Not well though. I am lost .. All my old tricks aren’t working. I am doing crossfit again. But instead of having that as a time to connect with people, to pull me out of myself It pushes me further inside.. I feel like an actress.. No connection. I am locked away.. trapped inside of myself.. Too weak to allow any of me out[…]

swipe

My mind wanders.. a lot. I have always been a big day dreamer. Its actually one of the reasons I have always enjoyed working out. Its a time to just let my mind and imagination run free. But right now .. even though our california weather is not very fall like I seem to remember. .. I am fighting my day dreams now.. I am finding myself crying nursing Bridgette in the middle of the night when I can’t escape my mind. .. memories. They are flooding me right now much more often.. Of her being sick. Of her treatments. Its hard to get a grip on them… They seem to move through me so quickly.. Like snippets of videos of her. I hate that. That my memories of her don’t seem real right now, they just feel like … like I’m watching her not through my own eyes but[…]

follow the signs

The tears are close right now.. Seemingly just below the surface and that really surprises me. But I feel like my strength is also. .. Because I am feeling her again. Its like she knows when I need her the most. Jennifer guides me.. when I allow her to. I am finding that when I just go with things.. that she sends me signs to say she agrees.. And somehow I know its her. It’s been something that has bonded me not just with her.. but also with Jonathan in particular since he always seemed to have that easy and strong belief that it was her way of connecting to us.. He struggles with that a lot lately. Trying to explain the logic of what happens. Wanting the sign to be so obvious that there is no room for doubt. It has bothered me lately hearing that coming out of her[…]

#forTHEMbecauseofHER

Her birthday is coming. .. She should be 8. This should be a celebration. She loved her birthday. I loved her birthday. But now I am dreading it. Terribly. No balloons to blow up.. no birthday chair to decorate.. no candles to blow out. . No presents. No joy. No happy.. But she deserves more that that. She is worth celebrating. you hear me sissy? Only 6 years we got with her. A friend recently emailed me. About preparing for her soon to be 8 year olds birthday. We went to this girls 6th birthday party shortly before Jennifer was diagnosed. Our friend stumbled across the wrapping paper she had used for a game at that party.. And she was hit.. a rake to the face moment. That damn wrapping paper is still here.. but my dauhter isn’t. And its not ok. Its not fair. I don’t get to celebrate[…]

october 1

The start of Oct. I am excited only for one part of it. The end of most of the Fluttering campaign. I LOVE this campaign. For so many reasons. It raises a ton of awareness and money. Kids are involved and doing it. Kids are saving kids. We partnered with other organizations and allowed people to highlight the child(ren) that have touched their lives. I am proud of it because I think it really showcases what and who Unravel is.. Awareness. Empowerment. Kids. Money for research. But I miss her. Jennifer feels so distant to me this month. I think I know why. I see messages and notes of people every single day who she is touching and inspiring to keep going with Fluttering. But I’m selfish.. I miss her. I miss the signs for me. I miss that sometimes that I feel like she is just about to come[…]