Monday, September 21, 2009

Cancer Sucks

Today was the day we had to take Joey to get his bloodwork done. This is his bloodwork to test his AFP - a tumor marker in his blood. It has been 6 months since we last had it done, and it has been in the normal range for over a year, so I'm sure it'll be normal again. But I just hate that we have to do this. I'm finally to the place that I wasn't sure I would ever get to - a place where cancer doesn't enter into my head every day. It still does a lot because we still have several cancer kids who we keep up with, but it's not an every hour, every day kind of fear that it was for a while.

I took Lily-Grace & Joey in for their well checks today, and while they were checking Lily's blood pressure, I felt my heart rate rise because I know that elevated blood pressure can be a sign of kidney cancer (and I'm sure a lot of other more benign things, but I just know enough to be dangerous!) And it just made me mad that I even have to give things like that a second thought!

On a funnier note, Lily also had to pee in a cup which she thought was just preposterous, but Joey was outraged that he didn't get to pee in a cup too! He was on the way to a full-out fit at not being able to pee in a cup, and the crisis was only averted by me promising him he could pee in a cup when we got home. Thankfully this was something that was quickly forgotten because I really would hate for this to become a regular fun-time event at our house, Oh! Let's hurry home so we'll have time to pee in a cup before bedtime! Yeah, that just doesn't bode well for future social interactions.

And it's also wonderful to have a 5 year old in your life because they'll tell you things that normal people wouldn't. She was asking why we have to get Joey's bloodwork done (this is new because it has just been so much a part of her life that she has never questioned it before - she would take her dolls to get their bloodwork done like other girls would rock and feed their dolls!) Anyway, I explained that we get it done so we know that Joey's cancer has not come back.
"But what if it does come back?"
"It won't."
"But what if it does?"
"It won't."
"But what if it does?"
I came this close to telling her to shut up! Doesn't she know that we live in a certain amount of denial? It makes us happy! I finally appeased her by saying that we would have tests done to find out where it was.
And she said, "And they'll have to cut Joey into pieces?" with a little more anticipation than was necessary.
"No, they will not cut him into pieces!" And thankfully the nurse arrived to end this uplifting and positive conversation.
Anyway, when we get to the lab, Joey immediately starts to cry in the parking lot about not wanting to get his bloodwork done, and couldn't we go to another lab because this one hurts! This was a lot easier when he was a baby and we had to do this every week so he got used to it!

But I am actually very thankful that this is not normal to him, and I pray it never will be! Today was just kind of a slap in the face that we are not normal! You can go along living out your normal life with your healthy kids, and being thankful, never taking that for granted, but one little test can send everything into a tailspin. I'm thankful for the peace that comes with more and more normal tests.

I would appreciate your prayers for a little boy named Carson. His family received the news back from their AFP test that his cancer is growing, and they are running out of options. If you have a minute you could stop by their site and leave them a word of encouragement to let them know you are praying for them. I know it would mean a lot to them.

I will let y'all know when I get our results back, and of course, we appreciate all the prayers you have for us too!


  1. Thanks for the link to Carson. Prayers are with you :)

  2. I cringed and nodded and laughed and whimpered in this post. You have such a way with words and your honesty is perfection.