What is it like to watch a family deal with a child who is very sick with cancer? Mind boggling. Gut wrenching. Heart breaking. Awe inspiring. Cancer effects everyone. From the brother who is now scared to go upstairs by himself or be alone in any capacity to the other brother who waits until his mom comes home so he can safely take out his frustrations on someone who he knows will love him no matter how he acts to the little twin sister who cries for her sister in the middle of the night and constantly reminds you that her sister has an "owie" and she misses her. Even the dog senses everything is not what it should be and takes his own nerves out on the brand new basement carpet. The mother and the father are put into a situation that nobody who hasn't lived it can even begin to imagine. Their roles as protectors have been stolen from them by a horrible disease that has no interest in playing by the rules. They have to watch their baby suffer and fight a cancer that has no predictability. A cancer that is so rare it only effects 640 children in the US a year. A cancer that has always been with their baby and decided now was the time to rear its ugly head. They have to spend day and night by their baby's side feeling helpless but hopeful and rely on their faith to pull them all through the darkest days of their lives. Most of all there is the baby who has no idea why she is in this unfamiliar place. Why every breath is a challenge. Why there are beeps from so many machines hooked up to her tiny little body that break through her drug induced haze and send her parent's nerves through the roof. She doesn't understand why she is shaking from withdrawal and why this pain is a good thing because it is one step closer to removal of that annoying vent. She doesn't understand that she has come so close to death and is slowly working her way back. She only knows that she hears Mommy and Daddy's voices and that they bring her more comfort than even the precious "nuk" she loves clenching in tiny her hand.
This same family will grow in ways they never thought they could as a family. The siblings will have an even stronger bond and deeper love because they know what it is like to have their foursome disturbed. They will be more sensitive to the plights of others and be greater people because of it. The parents will have an even stronger connection with each other because they faced their darkest hour as a team and found more support in each other than anyone else could ever offer. They will be there for anyone else who has to face a challenge like this with a the knowledge, strength, and support that only a survivor could offer. They will understand the value of every day spent with their children more than they ever have before because they have been faced with moments when it seemed like it could all be taken away. Things that used to seem like a big deal won't be such a big deal any more. Things that didn't seem like big deals before will suddenly be huge deals. Huge wonderful deals. Tuesday will survive this fight. I have seen her fight. I have felt the angels in her room. She is special. I can feel it whenever I stand near her. This child is special. She will do great things with her life. Our prayers will be answered.