9:00 PM (Randall posting): Today was a day to try and re-establish some sense of a routine after Vacation Bible School. Susan went to work early this morning, Ashley and Nick came over to watch the girls and I ran some errands (paid bills, picked up dry cleaning, got the minivan washed--much needed). Elisabeth and Sophie really seemed to enjoy the visit from Nick and Ashley. When I came home, Sophie was napping and Elisabeth, Nick, and Ashley were playing Hi-Ho Cherrio (and Candyland, and Chutes and Ladders). It was fun. Later, Elisabeth and I returned those games to the building and got out Mastermind. It took some time, but Elisabeth quickly got the hang of that game as well--I remember playing that a lot in Middle School. Maybe Elisabeth will love logic games as much as her parents do!
One of the errands I ran today was a visit to Countryside, where Sophie was in daycare until her diagnosis. We'd like to have Sophie return there with a normal schedule once we get through these more grueling phases of the treatment. We're hoping that sometime this fall, she'll return to all her friends there. While I was there, talking through the phases of the treatment and the like, someone said, "you all have been through a lot." I am not sure what to make of that. We have been through a lot, but there are many, many others who have been through so much more. I am haunted by the bulletin boards at the clinic that have picture after picture after picture of kids who have been treated by the doctors at UNC for various forms of cancer. After a while, all those smiling, happy faces staring back at me get to me. These are all kids who have gone through the whole range of pain and suffering, and, I wonder, which ones lost the fight, because not every child gets well. We have had an easy road of this, and for that we are extremely thankful, but our hearts break when we hear about another child's setback or bad experience.
Susan updated me on one child who is also being treated at UNC--Macie Ann. Her website is here:
www3.caringbridge.org/nc/macieann/. Macie Ann has a different form of leukemia than what Sophie has, but, as rational and logical as you can get, cancer is cancer. And it can kill.
Another child (in our own community) named Madison Smith ( www.madisonsmith.org/ ) has been through all sorts of problems with her leukemia, but her family (and her church) are sponsoring a charity event for Duke's "Road to Life" for those families who struggle financially with the unbelievable burden childhood cancer and its treatments can bring. Maybe we'll get to go to the event (it sounds like it will be fun).
We are grateful for our terrific insurance coverage (although the paperwork alone gives us fits), we are grateful for all the support and prayers and thoughts that people have sent our way, we are grateful to be part of a community and a church that has loved us and gone the extra mile for us when we needed them, we are grateful that Sophie is doing as well as she is. But in our gratitude, we see so many others who suffer. Remember them, pray for them, support them, too. Please.