Saturday, May 3, 2014

The "Fight" of her life - A guest post

     My friend Kathy has graciously written a guest post for me. I can't imagine it was easy to write this post and harder still to call forth the memories, fear and emotions for this time in her family's life. I remember the phone call telling me of Brooklyn's diagnosis and I stood with Kathy and her husband on the day Brooklyn received her first dose of chemo. I watched my friend advocate and fight for her daughter. For my friend Kathy who inspires me for the amazing mother she is..I say, Thank you for sharing your story!


"The Fight"

 "Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting" -Napoleon Hill 

 My name is Kathy and I have been married for 11 wonderful years to my husband Justin. We have 3 amazing kids...Madison-10, Brooklyn-7 and Cullen who is 2. This story is about my families biggest "fight" of our lives! When you think of the word "fight" a lot of the time you think of it in a negative light. Well not this time! This "fight" is full of strength and inspiration and all from a 3 year old! 

Everyone has their own "fight". No ones life is completely free of having to "fight" at some point. When my daughter Brooklyn had just turned 3 years old, she was not only in the "fight" of her life...but for her life! A week after we celebrated her 3rd Birthday, Brooklyn was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). And so began the "fight". She was in treatment for 2 1/2 years. It was almost indescribable. She went through enormous amounts of pain, fear, and uncertainty. As a mother, watching this and having no other choice but to do what you have to to save your child, is in one word...heart wrenching! It was a "fight" every day and in many different ways. 


                        

         

She was "fighting" for her life. She would "fight" to take her medicine or get poked and prodded. She would "fight" in physical therapy so she could walk again. She would "fight" when the steroids changed not only her appearance but her personality. She would "fight" not to cry because she lost her hair. She would "fight" to get sedated for her spinal taps. And I...I would constantly "fight" to hold back my tears. I would "fight" to not show my fear. I would "fight" for her saying "NO, no more pokes today, or NO, the 20th med student cannot examine her again! I especially had to "fight" feeling guilty all of the time for making her "fight" so hard! 



As a family it was a daily "fight"! We had to "fight" financially. We went from a 2 income household to one so I could stay home and care for her. This was not easy with the enormous medical bills coming in. We had to "fight" as husband and wife to not let the constant stress and worry breakdown our marriage. We had to "fight" to make sure our oldest daughter Madison, who was 5 years old at the time, did not feel left out or less important than her sick sister. It was a constant struggle, a constant "fight". 



As with any "fight" there is always a victor! Brooklyn Victoria is now 7 years old! She has officially won the "fight"!! She is now 4 years cancer free and your typical 1st grader! Even though it was tough, we never let this "fight" stop us from Loving each other, Laughing every chance we got, and Living life to the fullest! If you take anything away from this...please take the fact that we are always stronger than we think!!! Thank you for letting me share Brooklyn's story and always keep up the good "FIGHT"!!   

                                                  

*This is a poem I wrote when Brooklyn was in treatment. I wrote it for her and have never shared it before. It is so true...looking at her now...I bet you wouldn't know!

 I bet you wouldn't know 

 Hi my name is Brooklyn And I just turned 3 years old
 I have Leukemia But I bet you wouldn't know 

I know that I look different 
But don't worry it will grow 

If I didn't lose my hair 
I bet you wouldn't know 

I still love all the things I did 
Just a few months ago 

If I weren't on all of this medicine 
I bet you wouldn't know 

I play with my sister 
And I dance on my toes 

If I didn't go to the Doctor so much 
I bet you wouldn't know 

I have to wash my hands a lot 
And stay home when my counts are low 

But if I didn't tell you 
I bet you wouldn't know 

As time goes by I am so much better 
And I can tie my hair up in a bow 

Could you tell that I was ever sick? 
I bet you didn't know!



Thank you Kathy and Justin for being amazing friends - Your children are wonderful, kind and funny. You named her Brooklyn Victoria and look at her now, she is victorious!



                      







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3 comments:

  1. I remember the fight that you talk about. I remember fighting for the same things. I also remember trying to fight back the tears when I thought it was impossible to do so.

    Our son Jeremy was in Loma Linda Children's Hospital for 11 months. It took his team of doctors 9 weeks to diagnose him. It was a rare cancer. He was diagnosed with CNS lymphoma. (cancer in the fluid of the brain and spine. He suffered a stroke and we were told that he wouldn't speak or walk again. I fought for the perfect PT and OT. I fought those words the doctor told us. Never is not an option. On my birthday. My husband called me at the Ronald McDonald House, and told me someone wanted to talk to me. It was my son. He spoke like nothing had happened to him. He also started walking with help. Because ~we~fought!!!! Because he fought!

    We spent countless times in the PICU. Jeremy couldn't handle the chemo. It had horrible and scary side effects. But, he would fight. He would come out of it and we would celebrate until the next round.

    When he couldn't fight anymore, and, I couldn't fight for him anymore. We had to give our son back to our Savior. I was angry. I was mad at God, even though I knew, he was his before he was mine. Then I had to fight to make myself understand that he was healed. He was whole. I was then, able to give all the glory to God for all of his suffering. We know that we will be a family of 4 again someday. I miss and love him so much. He is truly my hero.

    I am so happy to hear that your sweet girl is well. She is beautiful. She looks like an amazing ballerina. Reading your story brings back memories of what a parent should never have to go through. Of what a child should never have to endure. Somehow, we do come out stronger. We take life a little bit more serious. We enjoy the little things.

    God Bless your sweet Brooklyn, you, and your family. Sending a big hug to her and wishing her nothing but happiness, health and love

    Cathy
    :)

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  2. Thank you for such a sweet post. You've been featured at Link'n Blogs. Come see your feature and link up again. :)
    http://iputabirdonit.blogspot.com/2014/05/linkn-blogs-25.html

    xo
    Daniela
    Put A Bird On It

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  3. Each of you is the victor in this courageous fight. Well done.

    ReplyDelete