Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Perhaps it's my news background, but as I was walking through the Nuclear Medicine Clinic for Caleb yesterday, all I could think about was Fukushima Daiichi (from the nuclear power plant disaster in Japan).  There's just something about the word "nuclear" that is overwhelming when it has to do with your child. However, nothing disastrous about the news, coming out of his Nuclear Medicine testing.  Caleb's kidneys have NOT suffered long-term damage, and we couldn't be more relieved or thrilled tonight.  We will definitely sleep peacefully now. 
Cal didn't have a care in the world.  No concerns from this go-getter, even though he experienced new nurses, a different building, and testing he'd never been through before. 
Even though Caleb genuinely seems numb & accepting to it all, I have moments when his situation really gets to me.  I was hopeful, yet "on edge" all day.  Then, when I drove up to get Zachary from school, it was downright painful, watching Kindergartners bouncing out to greet their parents.
I looked back at Caleb, who was absolutely wiped out after being at the hospital from 8am-3pm. 
Then, I glanced over my shoulder and would've done ANYTHING for him to be running on the playground, instead.
It's okay, though, it is what it is, and I know I can't get weak, knowing that God has been busy helping Caleb be so tough and brave.  It was a very special Mother's Day.  I remember being five years old and playing with dolls and wanting to breathe life into them.   I really did want children ALL of my life.  I've never appreciated them more, than this year.  Cancer has an interesting way of making roses brighter, the sky more blue, and the massages so much better.
Caleb came up with the idea to give me "Mommy Spa Day" at home, and Zach agreed.  It was blissful.
 Since Caleb still can't go to church because of the crowds and his compromised immune system, I enjoyed a beautiful service with my parents and got to celebrate my own mom. 

Then, I shared Caleb's story at my 14th Annual Golf Tournament for Children at Risk on Monday. 
Zachary & Caleb have been going to this tournament since I was preggers with them, and they always want to know how they can do more to help, themselves.
The group Children at Risk helps low-income children who are at high-risk for many reasons. 
Caleb's "Auntie Caroline" kept him busy.
While we're blessed that's not our concern, Caleb is at risk in a different way.  1 out of 300 boys and 1 in 133 girls will get cancer before they turn 18.  Can you believe that?  All of us "cancer moms" agree that positive affirmations help get us through it.  One of my aunts took that to heart and sent a load of sunshine and smiles with these homemade pillows.

That was a lot of work.  They now add smiles in every room.  Thanks, Glenda.
Thanks for all of your prayers and your "cares".  :)  Many hugs.


  1. Such good news, can't wait to share with the boys in the morning! One day he'll be back in school very, very soon. Thank you again for posting and taking photo's along the way. One day this will all be in the past. God is Good! XXXOOO, Green's

  2. What an absolute blessing to hear the good news. God listens! I am always praying for your family Melissa. May God continue to bless you all. What a sweet set of boys you have.

  3. Melissa - Don't get down about Cal's situation. He is making steady progress. There will be small bumps along the way. With God's grace and all the family/community support, Cal will come out of this a healthy boy. Have faith and keep looking forward. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. I can remember when Cal was first diagnosed and we were at your house talking about cancer, what it will be like, how to cope, etc. At the time there was so much we wanted to share with you but we knew you were overwhelmed already. We also knew that nothing we could say would necessarily "work". It can be hard to explain or for others to comprehend exactly the emotions, ups and downs, constant changes and surprises that come with being a cancer parent. I just remember telling you that you have to go with the flow and ride it out. Every day is a new day, often with many new challenges that a few months earlier would have knocked you for a loop.

    As I read your posts now I see that you now see that yourself. Not just Cal but you, your husband and your whole family have become so strong. So able to take things as they come and move on. Able to live for the day, make the best of the day and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Also able to appreciate every day and not take them for granted. To notice that the sun is shining and Cal has a smile on his face so what else could be wrong in the world?

    It's tough, not a lot of fun and terrible to see your child sick or suffering when you would do anything to change places. But we are all molded by our experiences and cancer is a big one. No doubt in my mind that my daughter is not the same person she would have been without cancer. She has the confidence, compassion, empathy and gumption that only comes from living through what's she's achieved. Cal will never be the same either, neither will you and your family. Surviving this sort of thing just seems to bring out the best in kids and no doubt in my mind it has done that for Cal. I'm so sorry that he, and you, have to go through this but so happy he is doing well and you are all handling it so well. You may not even notice it until you get some potential bad news, handle it well and then think back to how you would have responded just a year ago.

    Proud of you guys and keep hanging in there. It will be over before you know it and believe it or not, your life will go back to being "normal". Like, real people normal, not your current normal!

    Mike Duncan